‘Indescribably sad’

DeLaughter, suspended from the bench since March 2008, waived the reading of the indictment. When U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander asked what his plea was, he replied, “Not guilty to all counts.”

She set his trial for April 6 before U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson.

Deputy marshals removed the leg irons from DeLaughter only after Alexander released him on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

DeLaughter, 54, was represented at Thursday’s hearing by Madison lawyer Cynthia Speetjens, but he may have a different lawyer for the case. Speetjens told the judge she may have a conflict of interest.

Although she did not publicly name that conflict, it could be the fact she once worked alongside DeLaughter under then-Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters.

According to the indictment, Scruggs and his legal team that included Joey Langston, Tim Balducci and former State Auditor Steve Patterson decided to hire DeLaughter’s former boss, Peters, to secretly corrupt “his very close friend Bobby DeLaughter.”

Jerry Mitchell
Clarion Ledger
2/13/9