Judge denies J.T. Burnette request to stay out of prison pending appeal
J.T. Burnette.

Burnette is supposed to report to an Alabama federal prison work camp by Sunday.

A federal appellate court denied a request Wednesday by John Thomas “J.T.” Burnette to stay out of prison while he appeals his corruption conviction.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order signed by Judge Jill Pryor denying the time-sensitive request filed earlier this month by Burnette’s attorneys. In the order, Pryor did not say why the request was denied, but added no more motions on Burnette’s release pending appeal would be taken up as time-sensitive.

“The clerk is directed to treat any motion for reconsideration of this order as a non-emergency matter,” Pryor wrote.

A Tallahassee businessman, Burnette was found guilty last year of federal extortion, lying to the FBI and other charges for his role in a bribery scheme with former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox. Burnette was sentenced to three years in federal prison and fined $1.24 million.

He was convicted of arranging bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as developers. That cash would go to Maddox, who testified against Burnette after striking a deal with prosecutors.

Burnette has been on court-monitored federal release since shortly after his arrest by the FBI in 2019, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. He is expected to begin his sentence at a minimum-security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama, beginning Sunday.

Tristan Wood

Tristan Wood graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with a degree in Journalism. A South Florida native, he has a passion for political and accountability reporting. He previously reported for Fresh Take Florida, a news service that covers the Florida Legislature and state political stories operating out of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. You can reach Tristan at [email protected], or on Twitter @TristanDWood


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