Tipler found guilty, could face 60-year sentence

Published 9:36 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

An Okaloosa County jury Tuesday found former attorney Harvey Tipler guilty on two of three counts of soliciting fellow jail inmates to murder an assistant state attorney, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported late yesterday.

Tipler faces up to 30 years in prison for each count, but no sentencing date has been set.

Tipler, who originally was jailed on racketeering charges, was accused of enlisting other inmates to help him kill the assistant state attorney who was investigating the racketeering charges against him.

During the trial, jurors listened to tapes of conversations Tipler had with another disgraced attorney, also facing racketeering charges, about the possibility of hiring a hit man.

Each of the three fellow inmates with whom Tipler was said to be working eventually turned against him. Tipler’s attorney argued that they cooperated with prosecutors to secure “get out of jail free” plea deals for themselves.

State Attorney Bill Eddins told The Northwest Florida Daily News he anticipates Tipler will be tried as scheduled June 3 on three counts of racketeering, multiple counts of theft and practicing law without a license.

Tipler originally was arrested for racketeering in September 2009. He was arrested a second time on the same charge in May 2010 and a third time in May 2011.

After the third arrest, Edgar, whose special prosecutions team brought the charges, succeeded in having Tipler’s bond revoked.