Nearly a year after the beginning of the cocaine conspiracy trial of Rayful Edmond III and 10 associates, the case is nearing a conclusion with a marathon round of sentencings scheduled to begin tomorrow in U.S. District Court.
Edmond and the 10 were found guilty of drug charges in December, nine others were convicted of the same charges in March and 10 more indicted with them have pleaded guilty to various other charges.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey sentenced the first 11 -- handing down life terms to Edmond and four others. Then Richey found he had made several errors in the detailed findings required by complex federal sentencing guidelines, and he asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to send the case back to him for new sentencing hearings. The court eventually vacated the original sentences and ordered new hearings.
The sentencings for the 10 people tried with Edmond will begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow and continue for three days. Edmond's new lawyer, Daniel Ellenbogen, asked for additional time to read the trial transcripts in preparation for the hearing, so Edmond won't be resentenced until Sept. 17.
Next Monday, Richey will begin three days of sentencing hearings for the nine people convicted in March. Later this month, he will sentence Alta Rae Zanville, a former Edmond associate who was a key prosecution witness.
The only charge remaining to be tried is a murder count against Edmond that has been delayed while the appeals court considers a government appeal of Richey's ruling that Edmond cannot be tried for first-degree murder.