NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "This thing is not over yet. It's not a done deal. There are a lot of problems," FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said.
That's what some believe after former Saints player Darren Sharper's expected guilty plea in Criminal District Court didn't happen Tuesday.
It was supposed to be his last plea in a global plea deal that included drug and rape charges in Arizona, Nevada, California and New Orleans. Instead, Criminal Court Judge Karen Herman re-set Sharper's arraignment for June 15 because the judge said his federal drug case still isn't resolved.
Sharper entered a not guilty plea in Federal Court on Monday but is expected to change his plea to guilty later this month.
"There may be some issues that they have to resolve between courts, but Federal Court was not going to ever be resolved in time for today," Raspanti said.
With that, Raspanti believes there may be a deeper meaning to the judge re-setting Sharper's arraignment.
Plus, a number of unusual things unfolded in the courtroom, including several meetings in the judge's chambers with prosecutors and Sharper's attorney, Nandi Campbell.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro even showed up and hurried into the judge's chambers.
Sharper's alleged victims were sitting on the front row waiting for a guilty plea that never came.
"The reason is, this thing is not a done deal. I never thought it was going to be a done deal. There are a lot of moving parts," Raspanti said.
Under the expected terms of Sharper's global plea deal, he'd be sentenced to no more than 20 years in California or Louisiana, but would only serve nine years.
"He's got to do 100 percent of whatever sentence that comes out of Judge Herman's mouth," Raspanti said. "This whole thing about sentencing him to 20 years, but he's only going to serve 10, I never understood. I think he's going to have to do what he's sentenced to do, but there's a problem here, and I think that's why this thing got pushed back."
Sharper has two co-defendants, Erik Nunez in state court and former St. Bernard Parish Deputy Brandon Liccardi in state and federal court. It's believed that part of Sharper's deal will include him testifying against his co-defendants. Sharper's attorney told FOX 8 that re-setting Sharper's arraignment had nothing to do with a plea deal.
She said, according to a memorandum of understanding between jurisdictions, the federal case is supposed to go first and then it comes back to the state.