Covering Louisiana

Jan 20, 2011 9:41 PM by Alison Haynes

Judge grants delay in ill Mose Jefferson's trial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has granted a trial delay for a longtime New Orleans political operative who is gravely ill with cancer.
Mose Jefferson, brother of former Congressman William Jefferson, is charged with conspiring to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal government grant money earmarked for charitable and educational programs. Doctors estimate Mose Jefferson may have no more than six months to live.
In the decision dated Wednesday but released Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle said pretrial and trial dates would be delayed pending further medical evaluations.
Jefferson already is serving a 10-year prison sentence for his convictions in a separate bribery case, but has been hospitalized because of the cancer. Lemelle said Jefferson can be transferred to a medical facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons.
Jefferson's trial on racketeering conspiracy charges was to have started along with former state Rep. Renee Gill Pratt's on Jan. 31. Lemelle said Gill Pratt's case would proceed as scheduled. It's expected to last three to four weeks.

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