|Erik Davis Harp|
Harp once was a business partner with Jessica Medeiros Garrison, an Alabama Republican operative and former campaign manager for Attorney General Luther Strange. Harp was indicted in 2009 in Queens, New York, as one of two alleged ringleaders in an illegal offshore sports gambling operation. The ring, which had a "wire room" in Panama, reportedly generated more than $20 million a month -- totaling about $567 million in a 28-month period leading to arrests.
Harp was arrested on March 15 for allegedly carrying a concealed 9 mm handgun into a government building -- the Bay County Courthouse in Panama City Beach, Florida. A pre-trial hearing was set for June 9, but that now has been postponed until 1:30 p.m. on December 15. (See court document at the end of this post.)
This seems like a straightforward case; either law-enforcement officers caught Harp carrying a concealed handgun into the Bay Courthouse or they didn't; Harp has a legitimate defense or he doesn't. (If he does, it's hard to imagine what it would be.)
It's also hard to imagine why a pre-trial hearing would need to be postponed for more than six months. Criminal defendants are guaranteed access to a speedy trial, but depending on whether a plea deal is cut or a trial date is set, this one could take more than a year to be resolved. All of that for a case that seems to revolve around a simple question: Did Erik D. Harp enter the courthouse with a concealed weapon or not?