The William Jefferson Chronicles

Mose Jefferson files request for new trial
By The Associated Press
September 23, 2009, 8:31PM

In a court filing Tuesday, an attorney for Jefferson argues that jurors were confused by how federal prosecutors charged Jefferson in the case.

The jury convicted Jefferson last month of bribing former New Orleans School Board President Ellenese Brooks-Simms for her support in awarding school contracts to a computer-based teaching system he sold, but it acquitted him of conspiring to bribe Brooks-Simms.

Defense attorney Michael Fawer claims the mixed verdicts are a product of the government improperly charging Jefferson.

"In this case, the improper charging necessarily gave the government two chances to convict Mr. Jefferson of the same essential offense, and further created a real and substantial likelihood of juror confusion that led to the ultimate verdict, " Fawer wrote.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is scheduled to hear Jefferson's bid for a new trial on Nov. 18. Prosecutors haven't responded in writing yet to Fawer's request.

Mose Jefferson's brother, former Rep. William Jefferson, was convicted of unrelated corruption charges by a federal jury in Virginia this summer.

Mose Jefferson, 66, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of two bribery convictions and 20 years in prison for each of two convictions for obstruction of justice.

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