Judge delays trial for man accused of bribing prison leader

Irb Benjamin

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Trial has been delayed for a former legislator accused of bribing former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate Thursday pushed back the trial of Irb Benjamin of Madison to July 5. It had been scheduled to begin Monday.

Christopher Epps
Christopher Epps

A grand jury in August indicted Benjamin for conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery. The indictment says Benjamin bribed Epps for contracts at prison work centers in Alcorn and Simpson counties, as well as consulting contracts with county jails in Alcorn, Washington and Chickasaw counties.

Benjamin’s lawyer requested the delay, saying he needs more time to review evidence and conduct research. Prosecutors didn’t oppose it.

Epps, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and filing false tax returns, is scheduled for sentencing April 11.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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