NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has granted another delay in the corruption trial of Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his business and music partner, Ronald Markham, pushing the trial back from January to July.
Mayfield and Markham each face 23 counts of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice related to more than $1.3 million they allegedly funneled from the New Orleans Public Library support foundation to their jazz orchestra.
WWL-TV first exposed the transfers and some of the ways Mayfield spent the money on luxury hotels, limo rides and a gold-plated trumpet in a series of reports in 2015 and 2016. Mayfield and Markham were indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2017.
U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey granted Mayfield’s latest motion to push back the trial date, despite objections from federal prosecutors. Minutes from a meeting held before Thanksgiving say Zainey “was persuaded … that a relatively short continuance of the trial date would be appropriate in order to allow Defendants to prepare for the trial, which is anticipated to last three weeks.”
The judge set the new trial date for July 13. His decision in favor of Mayfield’s request for a delay came shortly after he had ruled in November against Mayfield and Markham’s efforts to suppress secret recordings of them speaking with a Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s investigator.
Delays in white-collar criminal trials are common, although the Mayfield case has had more of them than usual. This is the fifth trial date set by the court since Mayfield and Markham first appeared in court in January 2018. The last continuance, which pushed the trial from April 29, 2019, to Jan. 21, 2020, was necessary for the court to review Mayfield and Markham’s effort to throw out the auditor’s recordings.
But that issue has now been resolved, and this was the first time the U.S. Attorney’s Office objected to a trial delay.