Door open for more Scruggs testimony

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The Zach Scruggs hearing may not be over yet.
Late Thursday, Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers wrote in a two-page order that if the government wants to put on “the few witnesses” it assembled May 25, he’ll resume the hearing.
Last August, Scruggs of Oxford asked the court to throw out his 2008 conviction and sentence for his guilty plea to knowing about but failing to report an illegal conversation by a colleague with Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, presiding over a lawsuit against Scruggs and others.
He served a 14-month prison sentence and lost his license to practice law.
From May 23-25, Biggers presided over a hearing to gather both sides’ evidence related to Scruggs’ claims that new information and a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling proved him innocent.
In his order granting Scruggs permission to respond to the government’s motion to dismiss his request, Biggers responded to the written government’s view that the court – in other words, Biggers – ended the hearing after Scruggs’ attorneys rested his case without allowing prosecutors to call their witnesses.
“It was not the court’s intention to prevent the government from putting on its case,” the judge wrote, saying he thought the government rested its case when it presented him with a 46-page brief in answer to the Scruggs issues.
He gave the U.S. Attorney’s Office five days to notify him what it wants to do.
No U.S. Attorney spokesman could be reached Friday afternoon about its response.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.