Edwards Appeals To Fed Court - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Edwards Appeals To Fed Court

Attorneys for Edwin Edwards say government prosecutors knew a key witness was lying on the stand and did nothing to stop it. 9-News has learned that Edwards' attorneys filed an appeal in federal court for both Edwards and his son Stephen, who is also serving time in prison. This comes after U.S. District Judge Ralph Tyson denied the same appeal to overturn both men's convictions earlier this month.

Edwards attorneys say prosecutors mislead the judge and the defense about a plea bargain deal they cut with then Treasure Chest Casino owner Bobby Guidry.

Back in 2000, Guidry plead guilty to felony charges, paid a $3.5-million dollar fine and testified against his former friend Edwin Edwards in exchange for his freedom. At the time it seemed like the deal of a lifetime -- after all he would walk away a free man along with the proceeds from his run of the Treasure Chest Casino. In all Guidry would walk away with more than $104 million after the sell of the casino.

The attorney general is now suing Guidry to pay back the 104 million he profited from the casino. Edwards says that shows Guidry had a deal which at the time of the trial he was not allowed to exploit in court.

"I think they got something to go on because its clear from reading this at the time of the trial when they were cross examining Robert Guidry they did not know all the details of the deal that he got," says WAFB Legal Analyst John McLindon.

Edwards' attorney Dan Small did get to address it in court. When questioned about how much he would get after the sell of the casino, Guidry testified he had several lawsuits pending against the money in question.

McLindon says, "I think had they known all those details their cross examination would have been more effective and maybe brought out that this man maybe does have a motive to lie here."

The Edwards appeal refers back to statements made in that civil lawsuit hearing June 26th of last year. Guidry testified about the deal between he and prosecutors in the Edwards trial.

"Mr. Letten went up there and he got the letter that was needed from Mr. Moreau to guarantee me that there would be no more than the amount that I had agreed upon, and I wasn't going to make no deal until then," said Guidry.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten tells 9 News that he has not seen the petition and he would not comment on any on-going filings. But he did say quote, "The record speaks for itself as does Judge Tyson's denial."

Edwards has served more than two years of his 10 year prison sentence and was recently moved back to Louisiana -- at the Oakdale Federal Penitentiary. His appeal also points that a key witness was writing a book about the Edwards case. His attorneys also want the right to bring up a Supreme Court case challenging the legality of the federal sentencing guidelines.

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