There wasn't a lot of ‘order in the court’ earlier today. Emotions from family and defendants ran high. Dr. Sharon Walker and her daughter in law walked into the federal courthouse this morning to support their husbands, Bill and Scott Walker. Both are facing serious charges, including conspiracy to defraud the federal government. They each face up to 75 years on these counts if convicted. Scott Walker also faces additional federal charges. Arthur Madden, Scott Walker’s attorney, says, "We'll have to look at the evidence. This is the discovery process. It's just the beginning." The five defendants are scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday for their arraignments. That's when they're expected to enter their pleas.
Tim Holleman, Tina Shumate’s attorney, says, "I think we'll get to the truth of the matter eventually. That's what trials are for." While initial appearances are routine, this one was anything but. Joe Ziegler's attorney, Joe Sam Owen, asked the court marshals why his client’s hands and feet remained handcuffed. One marshal sternly replied that when they are in the custody of the federal court, this is how we do things. The investigation of the D.M.R. began back in 2009. For the Walker family, this is just the first step in what could be a long process. This all came after the five defendants turned themselves in for processing at the Gulfport F.B.I. office yesterday morning.