Wednesday, November 14, 2018
News Roundup

Prosecutor tries to delay Tampa trial because of eclipse. Judge quotes Carly Simon in ruling

TAMPA — A federal agent wanted to travel north to view Monday's total solar eclipse. So last week a prosecutor asked a judge to postpone a trial in which the agent is supposed to testify.

In a three-page missive which is as artful and erudite as it is legally procedural, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday, denied the request.

Merryday's order makes references to, among other topics, Greek history, the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, and the popular 1972 Carly Simon song "You're So Vain," to ultimately say that the trial must proceed as scheduled.

"When an indispensable participant, knowing that a trial is imminent, pre-pays for some personal indulgence, that participant, in effect, lays a bet," the judge wrote. "This time, unlike Carly Simon's former suitor, whose 'horse, naturally, won,' this bettor's horse has — naturally — lost."

The judge's order came in the case of Joseph Bishop, who is fighting a federal firearms charge. Last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin R. O'Donnell asked for a delay in the case. She explained that a key witness, Chad Horst, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, had plans to travel out of state to view the solar eclipse.

Merryday noted that such a celestial event "understandably occupies a provocative and luminous place in history and art."

Among other citations, the judge quoted the lyrics to Simon's hit song, which speak of a trip to see a solar eclipse.

Well I hear you went to Saratoga

And your horse, naturally, won

Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia

To see the total eclipse of the sun

Nevertheless, Merryday concluded that one agent's desire to see an eclipse did not merit postponing Bishop's trial.

"The solar eclipse is no longer mysterious, supernatural, foreboding, or ominous (or even 'total'; owing to the solar corona, the darkness of a 'total' eclipse is only partial)," the judge wrote. "An eclipse is just another astral event, precisely predictable since the day the Babylonians discovered the governing formula (although some contend for an earlier discovery)."

Here is the full text of the judge's order.

Comments
10 things about Rays Blake Snellís Cy Young winning season

10 things about Rays Blake Snellís Cy Young winning season

LHP Blake Snell accomplished a lot in his remarkable 2018 breakout season. And wining the American League Cy Young award on Wednesday added to that list:* He became the second Ray win the most prestigious pitching award, joining David Price, who did ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Buccaneers All-22: Tony Dungy wants to know what happened in the debacle against Washington. Here are the answers, coach

Buccaneers All-22: Tony Dungy wants to know what happened in the debacle against Washington. Here are the answers, coach

Stop blaming the play-caller. Dirk Koetter wasnít the reason why Tampa Bay scored only three points.
Updated: 4 hours ago
That Kate Upton tweet youíve been waiting for on Blake Snell winning AL Cy Young award

That Kate Upton tweet youíve been waiting for on Blake Snell winning AL Cy Young award

Model/actress Kate Upton had plenty to say in 2016 when then fiance Justin Verlander missed out on winning the AL Cy Young award due in part to the votes of the two Tampa Bay writers, posting an extraordinarily profane, and extremely memorable, tweet...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Raysí Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

Raysí Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

ST. PETERSBURG – Blake Snell first started thinking about it at the end of last season, then more as spring training drew near. He shared first with teammate Chris Archer on the phone, then later with Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder over a Janu...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Disney unveils plans for ‘Guardians of Galaxy’ coaster, high-tech robots

Disney unveils plans for ‘Guardians of Galaxy’ coaster, high-tech robots

At an amusement park industry trade show, a Disney executive hails the next generation of animatronics.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Softball stars Callie Turner, Alexis Kilfoyl sign together

Softball stars Callie Turner, Alexis Kilfoyl sign together

Alexis Kilfoyl was set to have the spotlight all to herself when she signed with Alabama on Wednesday.The Academy at the Lakes senior, one of the top softball pitchers in the nation, planned on being the only one to deliver a speech in the school's g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Wesley Chapel toddler fell into pool, rushed to hospital

Wesley Chapel toddler fell into pool, rushed to hospital

The incident took place in the 30600 block of Tremont Drive. The boy was reported to in critical condition.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Doctor facing malpractice suit wins key appellate court ruling

Doctor facing malpractice suit wins key appellate court ruling

Appeals court upholds ruling that expert witness doctor was not qualified to render opinion.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pinellas hotels report 6 percent dip in room sales since Red Tide hit

Pinellas hotels report 6 percent dip in room sales since Red Tide hit

Pinellas County is still on track to break its bed-tax collection record, even though Red Tide has showed little sign of letting up.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Slain father: ‘If something happens to me, it’s going to be my son.’

Slain father: ‘If something happens to me, it’s going to be my son.’

Friends mourn the loss of Jim Costello, who said he feared his son. Tarpon Springs police say the son fatally shot his father after a fight over a dog.
Updated: 7 hours ago