Former NC Rep. LaRoque to get retrial - WSPA.com

Former NC Rep. LaRoque to get retrial

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Former N.C. Rep. Stephen LaRoque will get a re-trial on a dozen felony convictions due to juror misconduct, a judge ruled Tuesday.

With wife on his arm and cameras following closely, LaRoque spoke to reporters for the first time since his criminal trial kicked off last summer.

"I’m looking forward to the new trial and proving my innocence," he said.

A jury convicted LaRoque on 12 felony convictions for stealing, then spending federal money and covering it up. U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard made the retrial ruling in light of juror misconduct after Juror No. 3, Jerry Miller, admitted to doing online research during deliberations, which is not allowed.

LaRoque’s lawyers argued it tainted the verdict and stripped their client of his right to an impartial jury.

"Where the real danger is, is allowing jurors to convict American citizens on evidence that's not presented in the courtroom,” said Joe Cheshire, LaRoque's defense attorney.

Judge Howard agreed, throwing out two convictions months ago, then voiding the remaining ones in the retrial hearing.

Lead prosecutor Dennis Duffy declined to comment outside the courtroom. But inside, he argued the progression of the case put them in “dangerous territory.” Duffy said after getting slapped with guilty verdicts, LaRoque and his lawyers tried to get as much information as possible about the content of jury deliberations, which should be kept more or less private.

Duffy said granting LaRoque a retrial would set a “terrible precedent” for losing defendants to “harass” and “exploit disgruntled jurors” after a trial wrapped, thus injuring the jury deliberation system. He argued Juror No. 3 was “mad he was told he was guilty of misconduct” and could not be trusted as a credible source because his story kept changing.

But Judge Howard said federal prosecutors could not prove Miller’s outside research had no significant impact on other jurors or other counts. He plans to detail his decision in-depth by filing a court order within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, LaRoque is relieved and ready for another battle in the courtroom.

"We’re going to hopefully be able to show the jury that I’m not guilty and that I didn't steal anything,” he told 9 On Your Side’s Katie Banks. “I didn't defraud anybody and I look forward to my day in court."

But another day in court means more of your taxpayer money must pay for it.

“Do you feel like this was a waste of taxpayer money, this three-week trial for the government to go after him and now we're starting again from scratch?" 9 On Your Side asked Cheshire.

“Well, there's an old saying there's an awful lot about an awful little,” he responded. “I will let the public make their decision about that."

Federal prosecutors have 30 days to file an appeal. If that happens, the case goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va.

LaRoque will be in court again on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to get approval for switching attorneys from Cheshire to Greenville defense lawyer Keith Williams, and approval for the means to pay for it.

--- Original Article ---

A former North Carolina lawmaker, convicted on several counts of fraud and money laundering, will get a new trial.

A judge overseeing a hearing on the matter granted former state representative Stephen LaRoque's request for a new trial just after noon on Tuesday.

LaRoque made his way into the Greenville courtroom this morning with two items on his agenda; asking the judge to approve of him switching attorneys and for a retrial.
  
Last June, a jury convicted LaRoque on a dozen felony counts after a three-week trial. But the judge later tossed out two of those counts when a juror admitted to doing online research of the case during the trial.

"I'm looking forward to the new trial and proving my innocence," Stephen LaRoque told reporters after leaving court this afternoon.
    
We'll bring you the latest from the courtroom coming up today at 5 and 6.

To read an in-depth history of LaRoque's trial, click on the links below:

 http://www.wnct.com/story/23033806/laroques-retrial-hearing-postponed-until-feb

http://www.wnct.com/story/21014631/laroques-trial-delayed-until-february

  • NewsMore>>

  • After court drama, Oklahoma to have 2 executions

    After court drama, Oklahoma to have 2 executions

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:35:25 GMT
    The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that two death row inmates are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them, putting them back on track to be executed as early as next week.
    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says two death row inmates at the center of the state's legal flap will both be executed Tuesday, the state's first double execution since 1937.
  • Man gets life in prison in retirement home deaths

    Man gets life in prison in retirement home deaths

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:55 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:55:11 GMT
    A 67-year-old grandfather was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole in the killing of two women at a Detroit retirement home.
    A 67-year-old grandfather was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole in the killing of two women at a Detroit retirement home.
  • Camilla's brother dies in New York of head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York of head injury

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:55 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:55:07 GMT
    The Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, are "utterly devastated" by the death of her brother, who fell outside a hotel bar and suffered a head injury.
    The Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, are "utterly devastated" by the death of her brother, who fell outside a Manhattan hotel bar and suffered a head injury, British royal officials said.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:06:24 GMT
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those...
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those penalties...
  • Obama rejects notion that trade deal is in danger

    Obama rejects notion that trade deal is in danger

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:47 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:47:05 GMT
    President Barack Obama is rejecting suggestions that an Asia-Pacific trade deal is in danger.
    As trade negotiators struggled to overcome their differences, President Barack Obama on Thursday rejected suggestions that an Asia-Pacific trade deal is in danger and urged the U.S. and Japan to take bold steps to complete...
  • Campaign 2016: Texas Gov. Perry says he needs prep

    Campaign 2016: Texas Gov. Perry says he needs prep

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:25:20 GMT
    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he'll need more preparation if he runs for president again in 2016.
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he'll need more preparation if he runs for president again in 2016.
  • PoliticalMore>>

  • After court drama, Oklahoma to have 2 executions

    After court drama, Oklahoma to have 2 executions

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:35:25 GMT
    The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that two death row inmates are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them, putting them back on track to be executed as early as next week.
    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says two death row inmates at the center of the state's legal flap will both be executed Tuesday, the state's first double execution since 1937.
  • Israeli PM: Palestinians step back from peace

    Israeli PM: Palestinians step back from peace

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:15:26 GMT
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) says a decision by Palestinian authorities to create a coalition government with Hamas is a big step backward for peace.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) says a decision by Palestinian authorities to create a coalition government with Hamas is a big step backward for peace.
  • Tiny Pacific nation sues 9 nuclear-armed powers

    Tiny Pacific nation sues 9 nuclear-armed powers

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:15:14 GMT
    The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is taking on the United States and the world's eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward...
    The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is taking on the United States and the world's eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward...
  • Mugshots

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Help Needed To Find Robert Price, Missing Easley Man

    Help Needed To Find Robert Price, Missing Easley Man

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:25:40 GMT
    Robert Moore PriceRobert Moore Price
    The Pickens County Sheriff's Office is asking for help to find a missing man from Easley. Robert Moore Price, 81, hasn't been heard from since a phone conversation around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when he advised a family member he was lost and might be at an unknown address in Georgia.
    The Pickens County Sheriff's Office is asking for help to find a missing man from Easley. Robert Moore Price, 81, hasn't been heard from since a phone conversation around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when he advised a family member he was lost and might be at an unknown address in Georgia.
  • VIDEO: Horse Carriage Crashes In Charleston Market

    VIDEO: Horse Carriage Crashes In Charleston Market

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:20:46 GMT
    The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on North Market Street and Anson Street.The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on North Market Street and Anson Street.
    Police in Charleston released video showing an accident when a carriage horse was spooked and crashed in the downtown Market district. One pedestrian along with three people on the carriage suffered scrapes and bruises. Our sister station WCBD-TV reports the horse is all right.
    Police in Charleston released video showing an accident when a carriage horse was spooked and crashed in the downtown Market district. One pedestrian along with three people on the carriage suffered scrapes and bruises. Our sister station WCBD-TV reports the horse is all right.
  • UC Synergetic Bringing 130 Jobs To Fort Mill

    UC Synergetic Bringing 130 Jobs To Fort Mill

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:31:13 GMT
    UC Synergetic made a 10- year commitment to Fort Mill to put the headquarters in South Carolina.UC Synergetic made a 10- year commitment to Fort Mill to put the headquarters in South Carolina.
    UC Synergetic plans to move it's corporate headquarters to Fort Mill and bring 130 jobs to York County. The engineering and technical services company - which supports power and communications utilities - will invest $2.2 million for the office on North White Street
    UC Synergetic plans to move it's corporate headquarters to Fort Mill and bring 130 jobs to York County. The engineering and technical services company - which supports power and communications utilities - will invest $2.2 million for the office on North White Street
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.