John "Cut Throat" Simpson's trial gets delayed - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

John "Cut Throat" Simpson's trial gets delayed

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - The trial for a man previously scolded for "abusing the system" has been pushed back -- again.

It's going on four years since John "Cut Throat" Simpson was charged with murder. Two other men, Harold Butler and Unjolee Moore, are serving life sentences for Bernard Hughes' shooting death in 2010. 

Simpson's case has yet to go to trial. It was set for Tuesday of next week.

Simpson has been known for delaying his trial by firing his attorney at the last minute. His current lawyer, Michael Acuff, has only been assigned to the case for two months. On Thursday, Judge Don Poole granted Acuff more time to prepare for the trial -- just three days after Simpson asked Poole to recuse himself.

"Other than chastising Mr. Simpson on a couple occasions on what I thought to be inappropriate behavior, that's by us," said Poole. "By us," he repeated, emphasizing both words to ensure sure no one mistook him for using the word "biased."

It's the same word used in Simpson's request for Poole to recuse himself earlier this week.

The motion cited a Channel 3 report from September. After Simpson fired his fifth attorney, Poole told him this:

"Mr. Simpson, it would appear to me that you're doing everything in the world to keep from trying the case."

However, Poole will not recuse himself. In a written order, he noted the times he's granted Simpson extra jail privileges, like library time and a telephone, during the short time Simpson represented himself.

Poole wrote that he followed the law in giving him a fair warning back in September.

"I want Mr. Simpson treated fairly, impartially, and so forth," he said. "But I don't want him, since he's fairly represented, to have any benefits that no other defendant has."

Simpson has fired five attorneys, including himself. His sixth attorney was forced to step down after taking a new job. His seventh one, Mike Acuff, was appointed to the case just two months ago.

"I think for any jury trial I've had, I probably feel the least prepared for this," he told the judge. "I do not feel prepared to go forward next week."

"The case will be heard and tried on February 3rd," Poole ruled. "No one knows exactly what will happen, but at this point in time, everyone has had sufficient time to get ready."

Acuff is also asking the judge to move the trial outside of Hamilton County. That motion will be argued in January.

Simpson will appear in court again for another motions hearing next month. His trial is set for February 3.
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