A prominent Chicago defense lawyer who represented a white supremacist in the killing of a federal judge is now representing a Hinds County judge who successfully prosecuted a white supremacist.
Thomas Anthony Durkin is representing Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who in 1994 as an assistant district attorney prosecuted Byron De La Beckwith for assassinating NAACP leader Medgar Evers. A former Klansman, Beckwith was serving a life sentence when he died in prison in 2001.
Former District Attorney Larry Little of Oxford is serving as local counsel, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Oxford. The lawyers replace Cynthia Speetjens of Madison, who represented DeLaughter at arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to corruption charges.
DeLaughter has insisted on his innocence, saying he followed the law in ruling largely in favor of noted trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs in a Hinds County legal-fees dispute involving millions of dollars.