After months of allegations that the government’s informant in the Billy Long case had a “manipulative personality” and needed to be psychologically evaluated himself, a federal judge has denied the request made by defense attorney Jerry Summers.
Mr. Summers claimed that the Rev. Eugene Overstreet’s psychological evaluation was necessary to assist with their claims of sentencing entrapment, sentencing manipulation and “outrageous” conduct as it related to the year-long undercover sting that led to the former sheriff’s downfall earlier this year.
During that sting, Mr. Long was caught helping Rev. Overstreet load cocaine into a vehicle. It was the final crime before his arrest in February and would end up being his most serious, too. When Mr. Long is sentenced Nov. 19 after pleading guilty to a total of 19 charges ranging from extortion to money laundering, the drug charge is the only that threatens to put him in a federal prison for a mandatory minimum of ten years.
In his ruling Thursday, however, U.S. District Judge Harry S. “Sandy” Mattice Jr. said that the concept of sentencing entrapment “focuses almost exclusively on the qualities and characteristics of the defendant.”
“The court is unable to discern how a psychological evaluation of the cooperating witness would further Mr. Long’s sentencing entrapment argument.”
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.