Nagin attorney seeks dismissal or continuance in closed-door hea - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Nagin attorney seeks dismissal or continuance in closed-door hearing

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NEW ORLEANS - Time is running short for former Mayor Ray Nagin and his attorney as they try to avoid going to trial. On Thursday they made another attempt to dismiss the case or get a continuance.

Nagin was a no-show at federal court for a closed-door hearing that lasted about 45 minutes. With the clock ticking toward trial at the end of the month,  Nagin's attorney walked into federal court in an effort to settle the pre-trial score.

"We'll just see what happens when I go in there, that's all I can tell you," attorney Robert Jenkins said.

A week from Monday, Jenkins is set to begin defending Nagin, who's accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in five different schemes with five different defendants who've agreed to help the feds.

Jenkins went into a closed-door session with prosecutors and Judge Ginger Berrigan Thursday to argue for either a dismissal of the charges or a continuance.

"The motions speak for themselves," said Jenkins. "We'll see what happens with the judge."

Jenkins also is continuing to push for a hearing on whether allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, based on web posts about Nagin made by prosecutors four years ago, can be used by the defense to show bias.

Due to the large number of people who have agreed to testify against Nagin, there has been speculation about a possible deal, and once again Nagin's attorney tried to squash the speculation.

"We never claimed there was talk of a deal," said Jenkins.

"There's always a deal on the table at some point," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. "If he's being offered something in the low or mid-digits, he probably ought to consider it because if not, he's going to be looking north of St. Pierre's sentence 17-year number, or look at Detroit and what that mayor got - 28 years."

If the case goes to trial, the defense strategy may be a simple one.

"I can imagine the defense will hope for a jury nullification of one," Raspanti said. "One juror will hold out for not guilty to call for mistrial."

Judge Berrigan has issued no timetable for issuing her rulings, as the clock ticks toward trial.

After the hearing, the Judge said the motions to dismiss or continue the trial are taken under advisement, meaning she will rule later.

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