HOUSTON, Texas – Photographs of James Davis taken several months ago in his initial federal court appearances show a well-styled, tanned and robust man coming from the U.S. District Courthouse.
Thursday, I introduced myself to him and his wife, Lori, just after they arrived in the 8A courtroom before he was to admit his role in the Stanford $8 billion Ponzi scheme.
He looked pretty well – tan, dressed smartly in an olive suit, white shirt and green-and-blue striped tie.
But when I told him who I was and where I was from, his eyes welled with tears and he embraced me as homefolk. He felt very thin under that suit coat.
I wished him well for the proceedings.
Afterward, there was no public comment from Davis, but his wife said quietly as she passed by me to leave, “It was nice to meet you.”
Many Northeast Mississippians remember the Davises for their extraordinary redevelopment work in downtown Baldwyn. While several of their businesses are shuttered in the Stanford receivership, a few others remain open because of joint ownership.
Thursday, it was hard to say if the federal courtroom hosted more reporters or lawyers.
It was pretty full of both.
Somewhat different from Mississippi federal courts, although that may change, the Texas court allows everybody in with laptop computers and cell phones. Just keep down the noise, is the only restriction.
That allowed me to Twitter from the courtroom, although I didn’t do much more with the computer for fear the battery would die on me, if I needed it later. It all worked out in the end, though, if you’ll take a look at NEMS360.com.
Allen Stanford’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, was the best-dressed man in the house.
He sported a handsome seersucker suit with a bold maroon-and-white tie and a summer hat.
I introduced myself and complimented him on his good taste. He laughed, saying he thought seersucker suits must have been invented in Mississippi.
DeGuerin was there to press the court to free up funds to pay the defense attorneys. He’s threatened to walk out if he doesn’t get paid, but the judge won’t let him leave until the issue’s resolved.
Another hearing date will be set since Stanford’s irregular heartbeat early Thursday morning sent him to the hospital.
DeGuerin also mentioned Tupelo, insisting that Davis was the scheme’s mastermind.
“If you want to follow the money, go to Tupelo,” he said after the proceeding.
For more details, read Patsy’s blog, From the Front Row, on NEMS360.com.
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal