CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A Carter County judge recently ordered a new preliminary hearing for a man charged with attempted murder after he learned the audio from his first preliminary hearing was inaudible. As a result, Filipe Piumbini and everyone else involved in his attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault case had to sit through a second preliminary hearing earlier this month. Piumbini is accused of shooting a man after an argument last year.
“The original preliminary hearing conducted on January 11, 2016 in Carter County General Sessions Court, was inadequately recorded, preserved, or captured on digital media, such that its transcription was not possible,” Judge Stacy Street said in a signed order last month.
Carter County General Sessions Court Judge Keith Bowers signed off on audio equipment upgrades in June after we started asking questions. Crews installed the new equipment in July. The improvements came a year-and-a-half after county commissioners approved the project and seven months after attorneys first raised concerns.
“Obviously, when we find out we have a bigger problem we want to address it as quickly as we can,” Judge Bowers said earlier this year. “We don’t want to do anything that causes a bigger problem or slows down a case.”
Defense attorney Greg Norris was one of the attorneys who previously spoke up. Norris says he’s still working with prosecutors to address an audio issue on one of his older cases, but he says the improvements have made a difference for his newer cases.
“I’m glad that it’s fixed,” Norris said. “Since the new system has been put in, everything has seemed to be absolutely perfect.”
Employees with the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s office tell us they are aware of one other case that required a new preliminary hearing due to audio problems.
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