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Captain asks not to attend Scrushy's sentencing

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The captain of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy's yacht has asked a federal judge not to require him to travel from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Montgomery next week for the sentencing of Scrushy and former Gov. Don Siegelman.

An attorney for Bill Kurtz filed a motion Wednesday asking U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to throw out a subpoena by federal prosecutors ordering Kurtz to attend Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

In the motion, Kurtz attorney John Aaron says it would be a hardship for Kurtz to travel more than 600 miles from South Florida to Montgomery for the hearing, which attorneys predict could last several days.

In the motion, Aaron says Kurtz has no information that would help Fuller determine a sentence for Scrushy or Siegelman.

"Captain Kurtz has no knowledge that would be useful to any party in this hearing as to the length of sentence, sentence departures or sentence enhancements," the motion said.

Fuller ordered prosecutors to respond by Thursday on why he should not throw out the subpoena.

Yacht owned by Scrushy

Kurtz is captain of the Chez Soiree, a 92-foot yacht owned by Scrushy. Prosecutors in April attempted to have Scrushy's bond revoked because he traveled from Palm Beach to Miami on the yacht when he was supposed to be on a family vacation to Disney World. Kurtz was subpoenaed for a hearing on that motion, but was not called to testify.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Coody declined to revoke Scrushy's bond, but ordered him to wear an electronic device if he travels outside the middle or northern districts of Alabama.

Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted last year on bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud charges. Prosecutors have asked Fuller to sentence Siegelman to 30 years in prison and Scrushy to 25 years. Both Siegelman and Scrushy have asked to be placed on probation.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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