Opening statements began at 10 a.m. this morning at the Federal Courthouse in Oxford in the case of Richard “Dickie” Scruggs v. USA. Scruggs, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in prison for two judicial bribery cases, is seeking to vacate the second of those convictions.
Scruggs is claiming he is actually innocent of the charge he pleaded guilty to before Senior Judge Glen Davidson three years ago based on a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last year in the case U.S. v. Skilling.
Prosecutors say Scruggs used his relationship with retired Sen. Trent Lott to influence then-Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter for favorable rulings in a lawsuit against him.
Prosecutor Bob Norman stated “DeLaughter had two weaknesses, one being his relationship with his mentor and friend, Ed Peters and the other his thirst for becoming a federal judge.”
Lott testified for about an hour this morning. He told the court he did in fact call DeLaughter after Scruggs had contacted him and asked Lott to call DeLaughter to explain the process of how a federal court judgeship is appointed. However, Lott said he never told DeLaughter he was under consideration for the position and only explained the process to him. Lott also testified that Scruggs never asked him to consider DeLaughter and that he was never aware that Scruggs had a case before DeLaughter at the time.
Davidson broke for lunch at 11:45. Testimony will continue at 1:15 this afternoon.
(March 26, 2012)
Fallen former attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs will ask a federal judge Monday to vacate his conviction and the seven-year sentence he received in 2009 after pleading guilty to trying to influence a circuit court judge. (March 23, 2012, Page 1A)
A federal judge ruled Monday to unseal Richard “Dickie” Scruggs’ motion to set aside his conviction and sentence in the judicial bribery case that involved former Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter. (October 4, 2011, Page 2)
Former attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs asked a federal court Thursday to throw out his conviction in the judicial corruption case involving former Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Scruggs claims he is innocent of the crime to which he pleaded guilty to in February 2009 based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision. (June 24, 2011, Page 1A)
After a full day of testimony and arguments Monday, U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. said he will take up to 48 hours to rule on whether U.S. Assistant Attorney Bob Norman should be disqualified from testifying at any future hearings involving Zach Scruggs. (May 10, 2011, Page 1)
Richard “Dickie” Scruggs is a friend of author Curtis Wilkie which he points out in the first sentence of the Author’s Note of his recently published book, “The Fall of the House of Zeus,” which highlights the rise and fall of the former trial attorney
Wilkie will be doing a book signing at Square Books at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the official release day. (October 15, 2010, Page 1A)