“I think we nailed them today,” Moore said after the two-day hearing in Oxford, which sought to convince Senior Judge Glen Davidson that 65-year-old Scruggs is innocent of a charge he pleaded guilty to – as prosecutors state – of “dangling” the hope of a judgeship in front of DeLaughter in exchange for favorable rulings in a lawsuit against him.
Testimony across the two days showed that Peters asked for Scruggs’ help to his brother-in-law Sen. Trent Lott, who with Sen. Thad Cochran provided such nominations to the president.
Former Booneville attorney Joey Langston, who conveyed Peters’ request to Scruggs, said that as parties to a lawsuit before DeLaughter – Wilson v. Scruggs – they were in a three-way quandry to deal with the request – to say no, to do nothing or say they’d help.
The first two choices wouldn’t help their case at all, while the third might, Langston said.
“We felt like if we said no to his request, that would hurt. If we did nothing, it would hurt,” he explained. “But if we said we would support him, that would help with good will, help Peters argue our points of law.”