After a case in which the sentencing hearing has extended over several days, three defendants in an asbestos case in Federal Court should know their fates on Tuesday.
Testimony from experts on both sides concluded on Monday in the case in which Don Fillers, James Mathis and David Wood were found guilty earlier.
Prosecutor Matthew Morris of Knoxville on Monday afternoon asked Judge Curtis Collier to give a nine-level enhancement on grounds that sloppy handling of asbestos at the old Standard Coosa Thatcher plant in Ridgedale could have caused “death or serious bodily harm.”
Defense attorneys are arguing against the enhancement.
Another prosecutor, Todd Gleason of Washington, D.C., left town before the day was over. When court resumed after a recess, Judge Collier asked prosecutor Morris the whereabouts of his co-counsel. He said prosecutor Gleason had to leave to prepare for another trial in a different federal district.
The extended hearing has been closely followed by some Fillers family members and a large delegation in support of Mr. Mathis. At one point there was applause by the audience when Mathis attorney Robin Flores made a statement that "Jesus Christ was crucified, but he was not guilty." The judge told the crowd he would clear the courtroom if there was another outburst.
Mr. Mathis earlier fired the attorney who represented him at the trial. At the start of the hearing, he was considering also not retaining attorney Flores, but he decided to do so after a 30-minute consulation with him.
Authorities said earlier that Fillers faces a maximum 20 years and the other two defendants five years.