UPDATE: Scruggs case merry-go-round continues

Richard “Dickie” Scruggs appears to be on his way back to a Kentucky prison after several weeks in Oxford as prosecutors prepared to try then-Judge Bobby DeLaughter of Hinds County.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons Web site shows him in an Atlanta prison Thursday.

After admitting he tried to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, Scruggs was sentenced to five years in prison. He’s been serving that time in Ashland, Ky., but was moved weeks ago in anticipation of his testimony in a federal trial of DeLaughter, who also was accused in a bribery scheme.

Scruggs admitted his part in the DeLaughter case and got more prison time tacked on to his first sentence.

When DeLaughter pleaded guilty to obstructing justice recently, prosecutors apparently didn’t need Scruggs and fellow conspirators Joey Langston, Steve Patterson and Timothy Balducci any more.

Langston and Patterson are back in a Montgomery, Ala., prison, while Balducci may still be in the Monroe County Jail. BOP records show him “in transit,” which often means a hold in a local prison.

A Monroe County Jail spokesman had not returned a Journal call about Balducci by the time this was posted.

Balducci and Patterson pleaded guilty in the Lackey case, while Langston pleaded guilty in the DeLaughter case.

Balducci, who flipped on Scruggs and the others in the Lackey case, was sent to Monroe County from a South Carolina prison as he awaited partipation in the DeLaughter trial.

In exchange for DeLaughter’s guilty plea July 20, prosecutors agreed to dismiss four other counts and not to charge him with anything else related to the case.

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal