Judge lets Lovett skip hearing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Judge lets Lovett skip hearing

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A federal judge excused former Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett from a court hearing Wednesday, but his co-defendant traveled from Ohio to attend.

 

The hearing was required because of a clerical error in a gambling and corruption indictment against Lovett, accused of protecting an illegal gambling operation, and Kenny Blount, accused of running the gambling.

 

 

A grand jury issued a new indictment. It did not change the substance of the charges.

 

 

Blount reiterated his plea of not guilty in a hearing at the federal courthouse in Savannah. Lovett entered his plea in writing, and it was submitted by his attorneys.

 

 

Blount wore a cast and walked with apparent difficulty. His court-appointed attorney said Blount is working with federal authorities and hasn't decided whether he'll change his plea to guilty.

 

 

"Lovett's lawyers put in motions trying to keep him from having to come to court today," attorney John Carson said. "Mr. Blount is in terrible health, as you can see, and it was very hard and actually a financial strain for him to make it here from Ohio. So, it shows you that he is taking this very seriously."

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