An attorney representing a Tampa-area man accused in a murder-for-hire scheme believes the importance of being Ernest trumps his clients trial needs. A judge apparently an Ernest Hemingway fan disagrees.
Frank Louderback represents Jerry Bottorff, accused of murder for hire, conspiracy to commit murder for hire and a weapons offense for his involvement in the 2007 slaying of Thomas Lee Sehorne, 37, in Lithia, Fla.
Bottorff would later go on to marry Sehornes widow, Christie. Both, along with alleged gunman Luis Lopez, face trial starting July 9. Louderback wants the trial suspended on July 20.
Hes entered the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-a-Like Contest at Sloppy Joes in Key West and doesnt want to miss it. The winner will be crowned on July 21.
In his motion for trial suspension, Louderback wrote that he would need to drive to Key West when the trial recesses on July 19, and that he blocked out six hotel rooms for family friends and others "and has had to pay non-refundable deposits."
U.S. District Court Judge Steven Merryday countered in his decision on Louderbacks motion: "Between a murder-for-hire trial and an annual look-alike contest, surely Hemingway, a perfervid admirer of grace under pressure, would choose the trial."
He then quotes a Dorothy Parker article about Hemingway from the Nov. 30, 1929, New Yorker: "He works like hell, and through it .... He had the most profound bravery. ... He has never turned off on an easier path than the one he staked for himself. It takes courage."
The judge continued: "Perhaps a lawyer who evokes Hemingway can resist relaxing frolic in favor of solemn duty." He then quotes Hemingways The Sun Also Rises: Isnt it pretty to think so?
Merrydays decision: "Best of luck to counsel in next years contest. The motion is denied."