One more delay.
Because of bitterly cold overnight weather and scattered snow, the fraud trial of four former Pilot Flying J employees was canceled for Wednesday.
It's indicative of just how long the case is taking. That's partly because court has yet to be held a full week. Some weeks the federal trial has gone two days; other times there have been three days of court.
Jurors first started hearing evidence in early November. They got a one-month break over the Christmas and New Year's holidays and only started back up last week.
This week they were set to hear the case Wednesday and Thursday -- and then they'll be off until the week of Jan. 29.
Government prosecutors are still presenting their proof.
U.S. District Court Judge Curtis L. Collier acknowledged last week the trial pace needed to pick up.
But he also cautioned that the jury will soon be losing one of its members. A woman has taken a job in Knoxville and is to start in early February.
Another juror previously has been excused, leaving 11 members in the jury box and four alternates listening from the side. With the woman's departure for Knoxville, that effectively leaves two alternates with several weeks of work likely still to come. Defense attorneys say they anticipate presenting some evidence.
Assistant U.S. attorneys trying the case actually have only been at work about 16 days -- but their time has been spread over a truncated calendar.
No court will be held next week because a juror previously alerted the court she had a time conflict. Collier said last week a couple lawyers also asked if they could be away because of other commitments. Several attorneys in the case live outside Tennessee.
Mark Hazelwood, the former Pilot Flying J president, Scott Wombold, Heather Jones and Karen Mann are accused of taking part in a scheme to defraud some trucking companies of promised diesel fuel rebates from 2008-2012.
Fourteen former Pilot employees have pleaded guilty in the case.
The privately held company has paid a $92 million penalty as well as more than $80 million in civil settlements to trucking company customers.
PIlot has cooperated with the government in the case, which began with a federal raid on Pilot's Bearden headquarters in April 2013.
The case is being tried in Chattanooga because of extensive publicity in the Knoxville area.