Wilson attorney Vicki Slater of Jackson, who filed the motion for sanctions on Wilson’s behalf, said research revealed more collusion between the judge and Scruggs than she had imagined. She said DeLaughter helped Scruggs refine legal arguments to be presented, scheduled proceedings to suit the nationally prominent attorney and offered previews of his rulings.
Their communication allegedly went through intermediary Ed Peters, former Hinds County attorney and DeLaughter’s mentor. Peters has not been charged in the case. Two attorneys for Scruggs, Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci, have admitted they worked through Peters to bribe DeLaughter.
Each of the conspirators received $1 million, Langston has said, and Scruggs dangled a lifetime appointment to the federal bench before DeLaughter. Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Trent Lott, then a U.S. senator. Lott has acknowledged he discussed a judgeship with DeLaughter, but has denied any wrongdoing.