DeLaughter Pleads Guilty - - Jackson, MS

DeLaughter Pleads Guilty

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) - Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to an FBI agent investigating a legal fees dispute he was hearing.

DeLaughter appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson.

The plea averts a trial, which had been scheduled for Aug. 17. Prosecutors dismissed charges of conspiracy and mail fraud.

DeLaughter was accused of giving an unfair advantage to former multi-millionaire attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs in a dispute over millions of dollars in fees from absbetos lawsuits.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 18 months.

The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. He won't be sentenced till after a presentencing report is completed in about five weeks.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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