U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's hopes for a trial early next year were dealt a severe blow today when the judge put the case on hold pending an appeal by the state of the dismissal of one charge.
DeLay had asked to be tried separately on a money-laundering charge while Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle appeals the dismissal of an accusation that DeLay conspired to violate the election code. His two co-defendants in the alleged scheme to violate a ban on corporate contributions to Texas candidates are not seeking a speedy trial.
Senior Judge Pat Priest said in a ruling emailed to lawyers that although DeLay may be entitled to sever the counts, "to go to trial on his case alone would require at least two trials where otherwise one would suffice for all three defendants."
"Out of considerations of judicial economy, I have determined to let my decision concerning a severance of counts wait until after the Third Court of Appeals of Texas, sitting at Austin, has made its ruling," Senior Judge Pat Priest said in a email to lawyers.
More of the usual agriculture from Dick DeGuerin:
"I disagree with the judge's ruling but what I'm most upset about is that the state is being so unscrupulous about how they're doing everything they can to drag this out, make it last as long as possible," DeGuerin said.
Just as a point of reference, DeLay was arrested on October 20. It wasn't until November 4 that Judge Priest was installed after DeLay's successful motion to recuse Judge Bob Perkins. Priest finally ruled on DeLay's motions to dismiss the indictments on December 5. How much farther along could we be in this process if Team DeLay wasn't pumping out the paperwork? That's the way it works, so take it or leave it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 17, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack