Start of Murphy Painter's trial gets delayed

Murphy Painter
Murphy Painter

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The former commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control was scheduled to be in federal court for the start of his trial Monday, but it was postponed.

A new trial date has not yet been set.

Murphy Painter is accused of performing illegal background checks on hundreds of people, mainly women.

He is being represented by attorney Tim Meche, a high-profile lawyer out of New Orleans.

Painter, 59, was indicted on computer fraud, making false statements and aggravated identity theft by a grand jury on May 23.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 13. A judge released him on his own recognizance, so he is allowed to remain free throughout the trial.

Inspector General Stephen Street said Kelli Suire claimed Painter was stalking her. He said investigators later found Painter used state and Federal Bureau of Investigations databases to get personal information about Suire and her attorney, Jill Craft.

US Attorney Don Cazayoux said if Painter is convicted of the above charges, he could face a maximum of 82 years in prison and fines up to more than $12 million.

The indictment alleges Painter made false statements to FBI agents. He is accused of using law enforcement databases for "non-official criminal justice purposes." The indictment also claims Painter exceeded his authorized access and obtained person identification information on several people throughout the area.

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