Hodge Moves from April to October
The 14-count vote buying conspiracy trial of Brian Keith “Wormy” Hodge of Vonore was rescheduled in a pre-trial conference on Friday, United States Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley ordering the April 24 jury trial date reset and extended to Tuesday, October 17.
Shirley granted a motion by Hodge’s attorney Michael McGovern to continue the initial trial date based on the government’s intention to seek a “superseding indictment” that alleged a new criminal offense as well as “additional substantive counts of election fraud.”
McGovern said that the trial date of April 24 implicated “the continuity of counsel” since he, McGovern, took over Hodge’s defense on March 7, days after Hodge had been appointed a public defender in February. The April 24 date also conflicted with a legal seminar in Florida, a prepaid travel and business meeting that had been scheduled prior to McGovern’s agreement to represent Hodge.