Prosecutors: Judge should reject withdrawal of guilty plea

FILE PHOTO Cecil McCrory, a Brandon businessman, walks away from the federal courthouse in Jackson, Miss., Monday, July 18, 2016, after a hearing on evidence relating to himself, Mississippi prison phone consultant Sam Waggoner and former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, regarding a prison system bribery scheme. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The government is opposing an attempt by a former Mississippi House member to withdraw his guilty plea in a prison corruption case.

Federal prosecutors Monday asked U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to deny the move earlier this month by Cecil McCrory of Brandon. Wingate will hear the issue Wednesday.

Prosecutors reject McCrory’s claim that he wasn’t effectively aided by a lawyer. They say McCrory never before asserted innocence, there’s no proof his plea wasn’t voluntarily and knowingly made, and that he’s waited too long to change his mind.

McCrory pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s also forfeiting $1.7 million in assets.

Former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps also pleaded guilty to money laundering and filing false tax returns, and awaits sentencing.


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