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)
Oxford-Lafayette Habitat for Humanity is building a new home for Nakia Carrothers and her two children in the Brittany Woods subdivision. (March 26, 2012, Page 1)
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)
An interior designer recommended $400K worth of changes and upgrades for the Oxford Conference Center Thursday to the Oxford Tourism Council. Designer Courtney Jones said the changes do not have to be made all at once and the first change she recommended is getting new chairs for the center. (March 23, 2012, Page 1A)
The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to accept a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday that would go toward the salary and other administration costs associated with starting up a new farmer’s market on city property. (March 21, 2012, Page 1)
Oxford police officers uncovered more than a pound of marijuana and $33,398 in cash after conducting a traffic stop Monday night on Highway 6 East. Two Memphis men, Larry L. Miller and Rojard M. Lake, are in the Lafayette County Detention Center charged with possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana. (March 21, 2012, Page 2)
The Oxford Board of Aldermen tabled a vote Tuesday to approve a new policy that would allow neighborhoods to apply for speed humps to give the Oxford Pathways Commission time to clean up and improve the draft. Read about the proposed policy and other business from Tuesday’s aldermen meeting into day’s EAGLE. (March 21, 2012, Page 2)
The Downtown Parking Advisory Commission will be interviewing four national parking managment firms on March 23. Whichever is selected, will work to help fix congestion and limited parking around the Square and could implement paid parking for premium spots. (March 16, 2012, Page 1A)
Lafayette County Volunteer firefighters learned the basics of rope rescue during a two-week course offered by the State Fire Academy that culminated Saturday with the firefighters testing out for their certification. (March 16, 2012, Page 1B)
With enrollment at record highs, the University of Mississippi is willing to pay for more Oxford-University Transit buses to help shuttle poeple back and forth to outlining parking lots. (March 15, 2012, Page 1)