“This whole thing is tragic in the truest sense,” said Matt Steffey, professor at Mississippi College School of Law. “Bobby was undone by a combination of misplaced trust in Ed Peters and by ambition and perhaps by hubris in deciding to speak to federal authorities without counsel, which is the most basic advice.”
He pointed out that television host Martha Stewart was ultimately convicted of lying, but none of the other charges. “Had Martha Stewart never lied to federal authorities, she never would have gone to prison,” he said.
DeLaughter is a “well-liked man, well-regarded prosecutor and public servant and well-regarded judge,” Steffey said. “While he stands convicted of a crime and while the allegations are indeed troubling, he is not a villainous person that we’re glad was finally apprehended. Rather he’s a longtime public servant that fell from grace.”
Wilson’s attorney, Charlie Merkel of Clarksdale, scoffed at talk of DeLaughter being a hero, saying, “Nothing that remotely resembles hero wears a black robe and takes a bribe to abdicate his responsibilities as a judge.”