By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD
ABERDEEN – Bobby DeLaughter, a former circuit judge caught up in what’s called the Scruggs II scandal, asks the U.S. District Court to end his supervised release from federal prison.
His two-page motion filed with the court Tuesday notes that as of July 10, DeLaughter “successfully completed” more than half of his supervised release term and has complied with all its terms.
He “is no longer in need of further supervision,” say his attorneys Thomas A. Durkin and Lawrence L. Little.
DeLaughter, 58, was indicted with former Oxford attorney Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs in early 2009 on charges surrounding allegations that Scruggs bribed him in exchange for favorable treatment in a lawsuit against Scruggs and others over which DeLaughter presided in Hinds County.
Later that year, in a deal with the government, DeLaughter pleaded guilty to lying about illegal conversations with his old friend and former boss, Ed Peters, whom Scruggs hired to assist his lawyers with the lawsuit.
Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson sentenced DeLaughter to 18 months in prison and two years supervised release. He began serving his sentence Jan. 4, 2010.
His supervised release began April 22, 2011.
His new motion to the court states that both the U.S. Probation Service and the Oxford-based U.S. Attorney’s Office do not object to the end of his supervision.
In February 2009, Scruggs pleaded guilty to improperly influencing DeLaughter and gained additional prison time on top of the five-year sentence he was serving for a guilty plea in what’s called Scruggs I, a scheme to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City presiding over another lawsuit against Scruggs and associates.
Scruggs is appealing his conviction and sentence to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision narrowing honest-services crimes just to bribery and kickbacks.
He insists his promise to suggest DeLaughter for a federal judgeship was not a bribe but protected political speech.