TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Kate Prince on Jun 8, 2021

Prosecutors in the retrial of former Pilot president Mark Hazelwood said this week that Chattanooga Federal Judge Curtis Collier should not recuse himself from the fraud case, the Chattanoogan reports. Hazelwood and two others had their convictions overturned by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals based on Collier allowing tapes of Hazelwood singing racist songs and using racist banter to be heard in court. Hazelwood last month released a 29-page memorandum in which he questioned the court’s impartiality and asked Collier to step aside. Prosecutor David Lewen said the 6th Circuit had already decided on the matter. Lewen quoted the federal appeals court ruling, which stated that “nothing in the record suggests that the district court would have substantial difficulty in setting aside previously expressed views,” and that the record showed the court’s “unwavering dedication to the integrity of the criminal justice process.” The government is also in opposition of the defense’s attempt to move the trial out of Chattanooga.