NMC on 404 B evidence

One of Judge DeLaughter’s motions asked to dismiss the bribery count of the indictment (count one) for failing to allege a crime. I wrote about the motion here. As I stated, the motion notes that the indictment does not allege DeLaughter knew that Peters was getting $1M from the conspiracy and therefore does not charge that Langston paid Peters a thing of value that Delaughter “accepted and agreed to accept for himself and others.” I described as “very clever” this argument that the indictment needs to allege that Judge DeLaughter knew Peters was getting something, an argument that this isn’t even a third party beneficiary contract because there is no allegation he knew Peters was getting paid.

At the same time, the motion argued that the courtesy call about consideration for a position on the federal bench had no value to a lawyer. I thought this was where the motion went off the cliff.

The Government response deals with the first argument (that there’s no allegation Judge DeLaughter knew Peters was getting the $1M) by stating that the government was going to prove other crime evidence that would show Peters and DeLaughter were doing this in other cases, and therefore DeLaughter knew or should have known Peters was making money off the relationship:

At trial evidence of other similar acts will be offered by the government pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) to show circumstantially that Judge Delaughter knew or should have known that his close personal friend and political mentor, Ed Peters, was making money influencing him. The evidence will show that Wilson v. Scruggs was not the first case in which Ed Peters appeared ex parte, secretly influencing the judge on behalf of one litigant without the knowledge of opposing counsel. Judge Delaughter knew or should have know that Ed Peters was not doing that free.

NMC 4/10/9