By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – Richard “Dickie” Scruggs’ conviction in the DeLaughter judicial bribery case likely heads to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson dismissed Scruggs’ motion to vacate the 2009 conviction.
Scruggs pleaded guilty to seeking to improperly influence then-Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter of Hinds County, who presided over a legal fees lawsuit against Scruggs and others.
Scruggs got more prison time on top of a five-year sentence for his guilty plea to a conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, presiding over another legal fees lawsuit against Scruggs.
In his motion to vacate, Scruggs insists he pleaded guilty to a crime which doesn’t exist any more. He also says the allegedly improper influence was to let DeLaughter know Scruggs would suggest him for a federal judgeship.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is the next stop for the case, if Scruggs decides to appeal.
His son, Zach, also sought to have his 2008 conviction overturned and has his appeal under way with the Fifth Circuit.
Zach pleaded guilty to knowing about an illegal conversation with Lackey but failing to report it.
• For more details, read Thursday’s Daily Journal.