Fennell could face more prison time than originally expected

All signs point to Franklin Fennell standing trial next month in federal court.

Posted: Nov 21, 2017 5:47 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2017 6:52 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - All signs point to Franklin Fennell standing trial next month in federal court.

He's one of two men arrested in a kickback scheme following the FBI's raid at the Vigo County School Corporation.

That happened in June of 2016.

Fennell's trial is set to start on December 11th at 8:00 a.m.

He has until Monday to change his mind.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson told the government to be ready to call the first witness by that afternoon.

She anticipates they will complete jury selection and opening arguments that morning.

We did learn the government plans to call fewer witnesses than it originally reported to the court.

The big unknown in this trial is whether Frank Shahadey will be called to the witness stand.

He will be in federal custody when Fennell's trial begins.

The government also re-offered its plea bargain to Fennell.

That's because they feel they can convict him of a higher offense level than originally thought.

The higher offense level results in a higher sentence according to the federal sentencing guidelines.

The government now believes Fennell faces 30 to 37 months of prison time.

Fennell turned down the plea deal, which would have put him behind bars for one year.

The trial will last most of the week of the 11th.

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