Local defense attorney Jerry Summers this morning filed his notice of intent to appeal the 14-year prison sentence that former Hamilton County sheriff Billy Long received last week.
Mr. Long qualified for up to 18 years, according to federal sentencing guidelines, but was given the minimum sentence by U.S. District Judge Harry S. “Sandy” Mattice Jr.
Virtually all federal defendants appeal their sentences as a matter of routine.
Mr. Summers said he will argue several points regarding Mr. Long’s sentence at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, where the case eventually will be heard by a panel of appellate judges.
Mr. Long pleaded guilty in May to 27 counts involving extortion, money laundering, drug and gun charges. The FBI had followed him for about a year beginning in the spring of 2007, catching him on tape trying to shake down local convenience store owners and then conspiring to make money in the drug business with an undercover informant.
That undercover informant, the Rev. C. Eugene Overstreet, was being paid by the FBI to help bring the sheriff down.
See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete details.