Judge OKs fast trials for some defendants in Allied case

Published On: May 30 2013 12:16:13 PM HST   Updated On: May 30 2013 02:35:20 PM HST

The judge in the cases of almost 60 people charged with running a veterans' charity that Florida prosecutors said was a gambling operation is trying to give those defendants desiring speedy trials their wish.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said Thursday he was setting a hearing next week for about a half-dozen defendants wanting fast trials. They include Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis, charged with being the mastermind.

Lester said he hopes to begin those trials by August, barring setbacks. The prosecutor estimated trials would last two months.

The remaining cases will be scheduled afterward.

The investigation into Allied Veterans of the World led to the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll after she was interviewed during the probe. Her firm did work for Allied but she denied wrongdoing and wasn't charged.


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