Ex-Pilot exec asks for release from house arrest; option to sell boat, plane

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/AP) -- Former Pilot Flying J president Mark Hazelwood is asking the court to release him from house arrest while he awaits his appeal.

His legal team filed the request Thursday, November 15th.

Hazelwood's team has also asked the courts to allow his plane and boat to be rendered operational so he can sell them.

The court ordered them disabled to eliminate their aid if Hazelwood tried to flee.

Hazelwood's team claims selling the boat and plane would show that he wants to use the courts to prove his innocence and not to run away from his convictions.

He was granted bail Tuesday pending his appeal of his conviction of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and witness tampering.

It was decided that 59-year-old Hazelwood could remain home until his hearing to appeal his guilty verdict that was handed down in October.

In the court documents obtained by WVLT, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit granted Hazelwood's request after his previous request for a similar motion was denied.

Hazelwood was arrested originally in connection to the scandal that claimed Pilot Flying J was responsible for ripping off truck drivers through bogus rebate claims. He was set to start a 12 ½-year prison sentence this month.

Hazelwood’s lawyers argue his taped racist remarks including a slur about interracial couples prejudiced jurors against their client. The appeals court ruled the argument “raises a substantial question” to be sorted out on appeal.

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