OXFORD – Joey Langston will spend the rest of his prison sentence in the luxury of his mansion outside Booneville instead of in a federal halfway house, as most others do in their transition to the free world.
Langston, 53, pleaded guilty in 2008 to a charge that he was part of a conspiracy to improperly influence Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who presided over a legal-fees lawsuit against Langston colleague Richard “Dickie” Scruggs of Oxford and others.
Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills sentenced Langston to 36 months in prison, and he’s been serving his time at a Montgomery, Ala., facility. He is due for release on Nov. 25.
Mills said Langston will be released effective April 18 to stay in his sprawling home. He will pay for his own electronic monitoring.
Thursday, Mills cited 2009 and 2011 motions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford that Langston receive a reduced sentence for his “substantial” assistance in the prosecution of Scruggs and colleagues on a separate judicial bribery scheme.
Mills denied those motions but agreed to impose home detention for Langston, instead of the usual six months in a Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Tupelo, where three other defendants in the related cases have completed their sentences.
“The government asserts that home detention will facilitate all sides who need access to the defendant in related cases,” Mills order states, “and that home detention would save the taxpayers money.”
Langston is likely to be subpoenaed in a hearing to consider whether the court will vacate the conviction and sentence of Scruggs’ son, Zach, for knowing about an illegal meeting with Judge Henry Lackey, who presided over another legal-fees lawsuit against them.
Langston was one of the state’s most prominent plaintiffs’ attorneys when he pleaded guilty to the 2007 scheme. Later, he gave up his license to practice and was permanently disbarred by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal