Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson could soon be ordered to begin serving his 13-year sentence on public corruption charges after a three-judge appellate court panel Monday unanimously affirmed all but one of 11 guilty counts returned against him by a Virginia jury in 2009. The ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., is unlikely to change the length of the sentence handed down by trial Judge T.S Ellis III.
But several legal experts said it’s possible the ruling could prompt prosecutors to request that Jefferson, 65, whom Ellis has allowed to remain free pending resolution of his appeal, be immediately imprisoned on grounds further appellate efforts are likely to fail.
Harry Rosenberg, a New Orleans attorney and former federal prosecutor, said such a request wouldn’t be surprising, though probably not until the full 4th Circuit decides whether to take up a likely request from Jefferson’s attorneys to reverse the ruling by three of its judges.
The only victory for Jefferson — and it likely will be merely symbolic — was the panel’s dismissal of a wire fraud conviction that the judges said was improperly prosecuted in Virginia because it involved a phone call from Africa to Kentucky.
Yes, that’s right. He was convicted in 2009 but has been free pending this appeal.
Oh, I almost forgot … IN HIS FREEZER!