UPDATE: Stanford's new lawyers ask for 2-year delay in Texas trial

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

HOUSTON, Texas – Attorneys for disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford have asked a federal judge to delay his Jan. 24 criminal trial for two years so they can prepare his defense.

The motion was filed Thursday in Houston, Texas, where he has been jailed since he was indicted in June 2009.

They also say the government “agrees with this motion,” but it wants to “be heard at length” about the delay.

Stanford, 60, is accused of masterminded the scheme, which cost thousands of investors – including many Mississippians – their life savings and retirement funds when his business empire, under Stanford Financial Group, collapsed under a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation early in 2009.

He insist he is innocent. His top executive, James M. Davis, a Baldwyn native, pleaded guilty in August 2009 for his part in the scheme and is expected to be the government’s key witness at trial.

Thursday, Stanford’s counsel also asked District Judge David Hittner for a new timetable because Stanford’s legal representation has been chaotic, with at least four sets of them since 2009.

They also say his mental condition is a mess while he’s been in federal detention, and earlier this week agreed to the government’s request for a new psychological evaluation.

Also indicted with Stanford was Baldwyn native Laura Pendergest-Holt, two other executives and an Antiguan bank regulator. Their trials were separated from Stanford’s and ordered delayed until after his is completed.

• To read thei full, 41-page continuance motion to the court, go to Patsy Brumfield’s blog, From the Front Row on NEMS360.com.