CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — A judge has denied a request by former Palmetto State Bank CEO and one-time Alex Murdaugh accomplice, Russell Laffite, for a new trial.
Laffitte, who was standing trial in November 2022 for several charges of fraud, was found guilty in a Charleston courtroom after more than 11 hours of deliberation and the dismissal of two jurors.
Charges included conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and three counts of misapplication of bank funds. These were connected to accusations of theft of client funds by Alex Murdaugh.
Laffitte in December filed a motion requesting that a hearing be held regarding perceived issues with the dismissal of jurors during that November trial. The motion also called into question the validity of the guilty verdict.
He also filed motions for judgment of acquittal and motion for an evidentiary hearing.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Monday denied those motions.
“…the Court denies Defendant’s motion for a new trial on the basis of the replacement of Juror Nos. 88 and 93. The Government and Defendant, through counsel, consented to the procedures adopted by the Court, which were fair and reasonable under the circumstances.
Further, the Court finds the claims of Defense Team No. 2 that Defendant’s trial counsel was ineffective in addressing the replacement of jurors and that Defendant was prejudiced by these alleged errors are wholly without merit,” the filings read.
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