Judge Grants LaRoque New Trial On All Counts

A federal judge has granted a former state lawmaker a new trial on all 12 counts.

That decision in the case against Stephen LaRoque came in just before noon after a hearing in U.S. District Court in Greenville.

Last summer the Kinston Republican was convicted of 12 counts, including theft, fraud and money laundering. Judge Malcomb Howard granted a new trial on two of the 12 counts against the former representative after finding out Juror #3 had done outside research online. However, LaRoque's attorney sought a new trial for all of the charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has not made a decision whether to file an immediate appeal on Judge Howard's ruling. They have 30 days to file such an appeal to the U.S. 4th Circuit in Richmond.

If LaRoque is re-tried, it would be held in Greenville.


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After five delays, a former state lawmaker finally gets his day in court to see if he receives a new trial.

Former Representative Stephen LaRoque entered the U.S. Courthouse in Greenville this morning wearing sunglasses and carrying a fast food drink.

Last summer the Kinston Republican was convicted of 12 counts, including theft, fraud and money laundering. Judge Malcomb Howard granted a new trial on two of the 12 counts against the former representative after finding out Juror #3 had done outside research online. However, LaRoque's attorney argues he should get a new trial on all 12 counts.

LaRoque's lawyer said this morning that the juror in question voted not guilty for two days, went home and did research on deferred compensation and came back with a guilty vote.

The defense argues that the burden of proof has shifted to prosecutors to prove the research did not influence the juror's vote, or the vote of any other member of the jury.

The original hearing was supposed to happen back in September, but was delayed numerous times at the request of the U.S. Attorney's Office. The last postponement happened because of the snow storm.


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