Eversole’s trial set for February 22

Indicted County Commissioner Jerry Eversole got his wish for a speedy trial.

Eversole’s jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge David Hittner is mixed news for the Eversole camp. Eversole’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in court this month that he repeatedly had counseled his client against a speedy trial because of the risk that his defense team would not be as prepared as it should be.

Hardin even had Eversole stand during a January hearing and asked him if he wanted to proceed quickly despite that risk, to which Eversole replied, “Absolutely.”

Eversole has said he wants to get the trial out of the way so he can get back to commissionering. You have to admire the confidence, I’ll say that much for him.

His co-defendant Michael Surface also got his wish:

Surface’s attorneys asked Hittner for a delay until October. Hittner has also granted that request.

Chip Lewis, an attorney for Surface, said he now will have adequate time to prepare his client’s defense. He also said the severance ruling was correct.

“All of these charges were very well-publicized before the indictment,” Lewis said. “The electorate saw fit to re-elect (Eversole). He is eager to illustrate his innocence and recognize that those voters’ confidence in him is well placed.”

Well, he was unopposed. And in the environment we just experienced, in the most Republican-friendly precinct in the county, he’d have beaten anyone who had opposed him by at least 30 points. So I don’t know that I’d draw too much of an inference from that.

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