Cue the delay game? Cothren attorney seeks extension on motion

Cade Cothren, speaking on phone, attends a meeting with lawmakers and fellow staffers on the balcony outside the House chamber on April 29, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Under federal laws guaranteeing criminal defendants a trial within 70 days of entering a plea, U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson scheduled former state House Speaker Glen Casada and his onetime chief of staff Cade Cothren to start mounting their defense before a jury on Oct. 25.

Richardson ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to make all pre-trial motions no later than six weeks before the scheduled start of the trial, or by Sept. 13. Cothren’s attorney Cynthia Sherwood on Tuesday asked the judge for a weeklong extension to decide whether she would make a motion for a bill of particulars, or a more detailed accounting by prosecutors about the allegations raised in the indictment.

Cothren and Casada technically have until Oct. 11 to decide whether they will waive their right to a speedy trial. But more motions to extend deadlines on interim filings might lead a decision to be made sooner.

UPDATE: Richardson approved the motion on Wednesday.