The trial for a Bell County businessman has been postponed for a second time. John Slusher was scheduled to begin his trial Monday in federal court, but the trial was postponed until 10 a.m. on Jan. 7.
No reason was given for the postponement in the motion document filed with the court. The trial was initially scheduled for April 9.
The trial,which involves Slusher and nine other individuals, is projected to last at least six weeks. When the trial goes to court, the federal judge will be Gregory F. Van Tatenhove.
Slusher was indicted on a money laundering, conspiracy, and the sale of stolen motorcycles. The vehicles involved were Harley Davidson motorcycles. The defendants allegedly altered or obliterated the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) from the stolen motorcycles.
Prior to selling the vehicles, Slusher allegedly transferred the title of the motorcycles to others in order to cover up the fact that they were stolen.
The indictment also charges defendants with possessing stolen vehicle parts with the intent to sell.
The alleged events took place from January 2000 until February 2008. Most of the alleged criminal activity took place in Bell and Boyd counties in Kentucky. The indictment alleges that the defendants profited $2.5 million from the conspiracy.
Slusher was released on bail from the Laurel County Corrections facility last year after a hearing that went on for more than seven hours.
The court stated that it does not find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant is at serious risk of flight or a serious risk of obstructing justice (threatening or injuring a witness in the case) before trial.
After going through all the evidence, the court found that the government failed to justify Slusher being detained at the corrections facility.
At that time Slusher was released on home detention with electronic monitoring, and was ordered to have no contact (directly or indirectly) with any co-defendant, witness, potential witness or victim; except in the presence of his attorney.
A lengthy list of conditions was included for the home detention, including that the defendant was to report to the United States Parole Office as directed, the defendant’s travel was restricted to the eastern district of Kentucky, and that he was only to leave home for religious services, medical treatment, and court appearances.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com.