After Bobby DeLaughter pleads guilty to lying to the FBI, as court records show he will on Thursday, the honorable judge will get his other charges dropped, YP understands. Pleading guilty to this felony charge will certainly lead to him being kicked off the bench, but the actual prison sentence is up to the judge.
Pleading guilty to an obstruction of justice charge calls for a maximum 20 year sentence and a $250,000 fine. The federal sentencing guidelines will determine how much of that he’ll actually have to do. While some obstruction sentences have called for the max, others just do a couple of months.
Considering all four other charges are being dropped, DeLaughter is also likely cooperating with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s in their investigation. Maybe he’ll reveal new information about his history with Ed Peters.
One disappointment in all this is the amount of information the public is losing by the plea. One can only hope the U.S. Attorney’s will finally break their silence about Ed Peters and Trent Lott; both of who’s involvement is suspect in the very least, and downright criminal at most.
It was nearly two years ago when all this was made public after Balducci’s “bodies buried” quote, and details have been slow in coming.
According to Balducci’s side of the story, he, Joey Langston, and Steve Patterson would fly to Jackson and meet with Ed Peters at the airport. During their meetings, they would tell Peters how DeLaughter should rule in the Wilson vs. Scruggs case. On some occasions, Peters would leave the airport to meet with DeLaughter at a nearby Shoney’s, according to Balducci. Peters would come back to the airport to report to Langston and Patterson what DeLaughter had said.
Shortly after Scruggs was indicted in 2007, DeLaughter was interviewed in Jackson by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s – he said he had never spoken to Peters about the case. Well now it appears he’s admitting that was a lie, hopefully the plea hearing will reveal more about the contact DeLaughter had with Peters. Peters, Langston and Patterson were allegedly paid $1 million by Scruggs for influencing DeLaughter. The judge was told Scruggs would recommend him for a federal judgeship to Scruggs’ brother-in-law Trent Lott. Lott admits he called DeLaughter, but that he never considered him for the job.
Peters is said to have immunity for the testimony against DeLaughter and has not said anything public about his immunity deal. His lawyer in the federal Wilson vs. Scruggs case, Judson Lee, also hasn’t made any public statements.