Tami Sawyer in Court; Plea Hearing Reset
No-Show Led to Arrest Warrant Earlier in Week
Former Bend real estate broker Tami Sawyer, facing federal and state fraud charges, was in a Bend courtroom Thursday morning, three days after her failure to appear at a plea hearing led to an arrest warrant being filed.
Sawyer's lawyer, Marc Blackman, later informed court officials in a motion that he had neglected to schedule the hearing and that he and his client only learned of it after the fact, when a prosecutor called to say they missed it. The warrant was later lifted.
On Thursday, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Forte set a new plea date of June 4th.
Sawyer and husband Kevin are accused of defrauding real estate investors out of more than $4 million.
Last July, Sawyer was taken into custody on a similar arrest warrant by Port of Portland police after arriving at Portland International Airport on a flight back from Mexico, where she was allowed to go and check on rental property.
Late Monday afternoon, Sawyer's husband shared with us court documents that explained the real reason she missed the court date.
According to a motion seeking a new hearing date, Sawyer's lawyer apologized for failing to keep track of the court date.
Blackman says he and Sawyer did not know about Monday's plea hearing until the prosecutor called him to say they missed it.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Coffin allowed Tami Sawyer to travel to Mexico from May 10-20.
Meanwhile, the Sawyers are still awaiting trial for federal charges in October, a trial that's been delayed several times.
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