Former Clinton music minister's trial delayed - - Jackson, MS

Former Clinton music minister's trial delayed

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A former Clinton teacher and music minister, charged with sex crimes, may face a trial by jury in January. John Langworthy is accused of fondling boys aged 8-12 years old back in the 1980's. These are the latest developments after plea bargain negotiations broke down.

Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride told the Judge prosecutors engaged in prolonged negotiations with the defense attorney. McBride said they found out last week the plea bargain offer was not resolved.

He also said the state has withdrawn all offers, and will not make any more.

Langworthy decided to instead challenge the statute of limitations on the case. His attorney, Jeff Rimes, will argue that motion in court December 18th.

The statute of limitations has changed several times since the crimes allegedly occurred.

The District Attorney said Langworthy openly discussed the sex offenses with the congregation of his Clinton church, but now wants to fight the case.

"He certainly is not (willing to admit his guilt) said District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. "And of course that is his right and our obligation is to prove that he is guilty of that."

Langworthy's trial was set to begin Monday before Hinds County Circuit Judge William Gowan. He faces 8 counts of gratification of lust. Each count carries 10 years.

According to officials, all the boys were from the Jackson-Clinton area.

Judge Gowan told defense attorney Rimes there will no longer be an opportunity for a continuance, and that the trial date will be set for January 28, 2013.

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