SECOND UPDATE: Here’s a copy of last Friday’s sealed motion, now unsealed, in which some of the defense strategy is laid out.
UPDATE: Dickie Scruggs’ lawyer says he was framed. Here’s a story about it from Anita Lee of the Sun Herald, and here’s an excerpt:
Attorney John Keker said during a procedural hearing that FBI investigators offered "very misleading" evdience so a judge would agree to continue wiretaps into its investigation of his client. Keker also asked for FBI notes on the wiretaps to further that argument. Scruggs and two other defendants are going to ask that the tapes not be used at trial.
A September 2007 tape recording indicates Lackey was trying to lead Balducci to say that Scruggs was aware of the bribe and that Scruggs put the money up for the bribe. Balducci said in the recording that Scruggs did not know about the bribe.
On Sept. 27, Balducci paid Lackey $27,000 of the $40,000 bribe. When Lackey mentioned Scruggs, Keker said Balducci responded, "… the way this will work is, I’ll just go to him at some point and say, ‘I’ve cured a problem that you had and you need to recognize the problem I’ve cured for you; that’s how it works… . He is not involved in a direct manner, doesn’t want to be, doesn’t need to be."
Judge Neal Biggers Jr. denied the request, saying the defense has the tape recordings and does not need the notes.
It also was noted today that in Patterson’s guity plea entered in court Tuesday, he indicated that prosecutors were wrong in alleging that any conspiracy began in March.
Patterson said he didn’t realize that when a discussion ensued regarding how to settle a legal fee dispute, it was the beginning of a conspiracy to bribe Lackey in order to settle the dispute in their favor.
Also in court today, Biggers continued the trial until March 31 because of scheduling conflicts and to give prosecutors sufficient time to turn over discovery evidence to the defense.
I also note that the court docket shows that attorney Tony Farese has once again renewed his motion to withdraw as counsel for Zach Scruggs, after he hired former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves. Here’s a copy of the motion.
Lots of inquiries from the Scruggs Nation this morning. My day and night job schedules aren’t conducive at the moment to a real Scruggs Nation post, which takes a long time to prepare. If I have time to do a post this evening, I will.