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Bateman Loses Supreme Court Appeal

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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 12:15 am

On Friday March 9, Florida’s Supreme Court denied former Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman’s appeal of his criminal convictions.

Five Justices concurred in the decision not to accept jurisdiction which is within their broad discretion.

The Court declined to review the Appeals Court’s decision. Significantly, the Court Order denying a last appeal was issued immediately, before any prosecutorial response brief had been filed.

Bateman was indicted by a grand jury in 2013 on five counts and was found guilty on September 22, 2014 by a jury of three of those counts. The trial judge granted his motion for acquittal on one count.

After a pre-sentencing investigation, Bateman was initially sentenced to eighteen months in state prison, an additional 60 days in County prison to run concurrently, and payment of all fines and costs.

The Third District Court of Appeal upheld Bateman’s convictions for illegal lobbying a

nd unlawful compensation for exerting influence. In its published opinion of December 20, 2017, the Court also supported the trial judge’s dismissing of a charge of unlawful compensation for official behavior even though the jury convicted on that charge, too.

The Supreme Court decision will next be sent back to the Third District Court of Appeals. The Appeals Court had entered a “stay” of its actions permitting the defendant to appeal. That stay will now be lifted and the Appeals Court will mandate the trial court to proceed.

The lower court then sets a hearing date for the defendant to appear and surrender to be taken into custody. The trial court has discretion to moderate the sentence and even how it is served. In fact, it seems likely that Steve Bateman will serve some time in prison.

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