NEW ORLEANS -- Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's defense attorney says he is ready to go to trial to defend Nagin against bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and fraud charges.
After a pre-trial hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan lasted just 20 minutes, Robert Jenkins, Nagin's defense attorney, said he is set for the trial to begin on Jan. 27.
"We were finalizing the particulars of the trial, like where people will sit, how many lawyers there will be," Jenkins said. "We have a whole team that's been working on this for a while."
That's a significant statement coming from an attorney who sought two trial delays for multiple reasons in the span of a month last fall, finally getting a three month delay by contending that he needed more time to review the evidence against his client.
Asked point-blank by WWL-TV if there had been any offers from prosecutors for a plea deal, Jenkins said, "I can't talk about that," but later added, "There can always be a deal made, even at the moment of trial, but I never said there was a deal, there wasn't, we're not even discussing that."
The pre-trial gathering of Nagin’s attorneys, federal prosecutors and Berrigan was mostly focused on procedural plans for the trial. The minute entry filed in the court record Wednesday afternoon laid out the specific number of seats for media, a first row designated for family and invitees of Nagin or the government and the plan to screen 75 prospective jurors a day starting Jan. 27.
Berrigan had previously said she expected the trial to last two weeks, but there was no mention of duration in this most recent filing.