Lawyer's Hemingway contest motion denied

June 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., June 29 (UPI) -- A Florida judge denied a lawyer's motion to delay a murder-for-hire trial so the attorney could participate in an Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest.

Frank Louderback, a lawyer for Jerry Bottorff, filed a motion with U.S. District Court Judge Steven Merryday in Tampa to delay the July 9 start of the trial on charges of murder for hire, conspiracy to commit murder for hire and a weapons offense so he could travel to Key West and participate in the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe's July 21, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Louderback said he blocked out six hotel rooms for family and friends "and has had to pay non-refundable deposits."

However, Merryday denied the motion.

"Between a murder-for-hire trial and an annual look-alike contest, surely Hemingway, a perfervid admirer of grace under pressure, would choose the trial," the judge said.

Merryday quoted a Dorothy Parker article about Hemingway from the Nov. 30, 1929, New Yorker in his decision: "He works like hell, and through it. ... He had the most profound bravery. ... He has never turned off on an easier path than the one he staked for himself. It takes courage."

"Best of luck to counsel in next year's contest. The motion is denied," the judge said.

Bottorff's charges stem from the 2007 slaying of Thomas Lee Sehorne, 37, in Lithia, Fla. He was charged alongside Sehorne's widow, Christie, who later became Botorff's fiancee, and alleged gunman Luis Lopez.

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