Mayor Higginbotham requested the continuance on the first day of trial, complaining that he had just received records he had requested from the state, and had not had time to go over them, and in addition needed additional time to find a lawyer. His request was not granted, and the mayor represented himself in the opening days of the trial. Now, in an apparent victory for the mayor and his allies, the appeals court has interrupted the trial and overruled that decision.
In a decision handed down at 4:30pm today, the court said it had reviewed the minutes of the court, a transcript on of the hearing on motions for discovery, a transcript of the hearing on a motion to continue, and copies of charges. The courts decision reads,
We have now carefully reviewed all these items which include an amended indictment accepted by the trial court; we have also reviewed additional memoranda from the state and the applicant.We will continue to watch this case as it develops.
Based upon the foregoing review, we hereby grant the writ with regard to the motion for continuance and direct the trial court to grant a recess of the trial for a minimum of 30 days to allow the defendant an opportunity to fully review the materials provided in response to the motion for discovery and prepare a defense to the indictments charging public contract fraud and felony theft.