Medford attorney moves to delay trial

Stephen Lindsay, the attorney for indicted former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford, filed a motion yesterday to delay his client’s trial, scheduled to begin March 25, by 30 days. Lindsay claims that the current date does not give him enough time to review the roomful of evidence that federal authorities have gathered in the case. Medford is accused of running an extortion operation related to illegal video poker machines while he was sheriff.

“The reason for this motion is to enable undersigned counsel to properly prepare to defend the serious allegations against Mr. Medford,” the motion reads. “Without the additional time to prepare for trial, the trial of Mr. Medford by the federal government will not be a “fair trial as required by law.”

In addition to a lack of time to review the evidence, Lindsay said that the current date also doesn’t leave him enough time to find witnesses “favorable to the defense, locating any physical evidence that might support a defense verdict, determining whether any expert witnesses are appropriate, preparing defense witnesses to testify at trial and preparing exhibits for use at trial.”

In recent weeks, two former deputies charged along with Medford, as well as longtime political ally Jackie Shepherd, a Weaverville businessman, have all taken plea deals from federal prosecutors. Former reserve Capt. Guy Penland is now the only remaining deputy to face the charges alongside Medford.

On Feb. 29, the court previously denied a similar request to continue the trial, along with a related motion to appoint a second defense attorney for Medford.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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