Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque’s trial on federal charges, which had been tentatively scheduled for October, won’t happen before next year.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard granted a joint request by prosecutors and defense attorneys for a delay because the case is too complex to be tried so soon.
The joint motion, written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Duffy, says the allegations cover a significant period of time and involve voluminous financial records. The government has already provided the defense team with a substantial amount of records, and has made even more documents available for review, Duffy wrote.
Evidence in the case is so unwieldy that the prosecution and defense attorneys plan to engage in extensive discussions to come up with a way to streamline presenting both sides of the case if it goes to trial, according to the motion.
Additionally, LaRoque’s attorney, Joseph B. Cheshire V of Raleigh, will be tied up in state court with a lengthy trial throughout much of December, the motion says.
Howard reset the case for February, at which time a trial could be scheduled. The judge also set new deadlines for motions and responses for January.
LaRoque, 49, of Kinston was indicted in July on charges of theft of government funds and money laundering. He is accused of misusing money he handled as a middle-man for low-interest federal loans to rural businesses.
The Kinston Republican was a key member of the state House leadership until resigning under pressure about a week after the indictment.