McCrory moves to withdraw guilty plea

“The lawyer who represented Mr. McCrory during the investigative and plea stages of this case did not closely assist Mr. McCrory in a number of ways,” the motion filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson says. “First, Mr. McCrory’s first lawyer failed to protect his interests by granting the FBI unrestrained access to Mr. McCrory in that the prior lawyer repeatedly permitted law enforcement agents to converse with Mr. McCrory outside that lawyer’s presence. Next, the prior attorney failed to negotiate the outcome of Mr. McCrory’s case before letting him engage in extensive cooperation with the Government. That attorney also advised his client to plead guilty without having reviewed the enormous amount of discovery in this case. Lastly, that attorney allowed Attorney Mike Hurst, the then-Assistant United States Attorney, who was assigned to handle this case, to put unfair and undue pressure on Mr. McCrory to get him to plead guilty.”

Tanner said Hurst wanted McCrory to enter into the guilty plea prior to the date Hurst resigned his position to run for Mississippi attorney general. Hurst lost a heated campaign to incumbent Jim Hood in the November 2015 general election.

It will be left up to Wingate to decide whether to allow McCrory to withdraw his guilty plea.

Clarion Ledger