Monday, December 31, 2012

Scott gets some brownie points

Tipler pleads not guilty to plotting to kill prosecutor

September 19, 2012 8:40 PM

CRESTVIEW — James "Harvey" Tipler has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to attempt murder. A trial date is set for Dec. 3.

Tipler, a disbarred local attorney, is accused of plotting to kill Assistant State Attorney Russ Edgar, who was prosecuting three racketeering cases against him.

Assistant State Attorney Bobby Elmore is prosecuting Tipler on the attempted murder charges and State Attorney Bill Eddins has taken over the racketeering cases, which are scheduled for trial in January.

A public defender assigned to defend Tipler in the attempted murder case recused himself soon after being assigned, according to Elmore.

Timothy Weekley with the Office of Regional Counsel was assigned to the case Tuesday when Tipler entered his not guilty plea.

Tipler’s alleged plot to kill Edgar was revealed to authorities by Scott Whitehead, another disbarred attorney who was being held with Tipler at the Okaloosa County Jail, according to law officers.

Whitehead was also facing racketeering charges with Edgar as the prosecutor. He told criminal investigators that Tipler had tried to talk him into splitting the cost of hiring someone to kill Edgar.

In a charging affidavit, authorities say Tipler had managed to find two people willing to carry out the killing for hire. A former cellmate of Tipler who had been released from jail was arrested after he accepted a $1,500 cash payment from undercover agents.

The former cellmate, Dion Lowe, later told investigators he never intended to carry out the plot and was only "blowing smoke," the affidavit said.

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