KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The defense lawyer for a woman convicted of conspiracy in a truck stop rebate scam says she deserves a new trial.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports attorney Benjamin Vernia filed the appeal this week for former Pilot Flying J account representative Heather Jones.
Vernia says recordings played at the trial from a Pilot sales conference “consist entirely of hateful speech” and an offensive song that creates “a significant danger of spillover prejudice.” He said Jones wasn’t there when her bosses played the song.
Two others convicted in the scheme have also filed appeals for new trials based on the recordings.
Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven’t been charged with any wrongdoing.