United States v. Scrushy, No. 12-10694 (11th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Defendant, the founder and former CEO of HealthSouth, was found guilty of federal funds bribery, honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit the latter offenses. Defendant subsequently appealed the district court's denial of his motion for a new trial filed while Siegelman I was before the Supreme Court on certiorari, and the denial of his motion to recuse the trial judge. The court concluded that there was no abuse of discretion in Judge Henkle's denial of the motion to recuse under 28 U.S.C. 455(b) where the judge's ex parte meeting with the Marshals regarding a disputed factual issue did not lead an objective disinterested lay observer to entertain significant doubt about the judge's impartiality and the judge did not have personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding, nor was he likely to be a material witness. Addressing five of the six grounds defendant relied on in seeking a new trial, the court also concluded that there was no abuse of discretion in Judge Fuller's handling of the motion for new trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33(b)(1). Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.