published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Hamilton County man accused of attempted murder has hearing postponed

A hearing for a man charged with attempted murder while fleeing an alleged high-stakes gambling operation has been postponed to give the man's new attorney time to review evidence.

Clifford Billups, 32, was arrested on gambling charges along with 16 others in mid-April.

Bill Speek has replaced attorney Robin Flores to represent Billups in the case and the next hearing is scheduled for July 10.

Speek said he'll use the time to review video footage of the incident, which police say shows his client pointing a gun at an officer while fleeing from the back of the building where the gambling was taking place.

Investigator John Patterson, 29, fired three times when Billups raised his weapon, striking the defendant in the back.

Billups has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, unlicensed carrying or possessing of a weapon, gambling and possession of a gambling device.

Co-defendant Kenneth Higdon waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday and sent the gambling-related charges to the Hamilton County grand jury.

Another co-defendant, William Evans, who police say acted as security guard for the operation, also had his hearing moved to July 10. As he left the courtroom, Evans flashed a peace sign with his left hand at a TV news camera.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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