Former nine-term U.S. Rep. William Jefferson will be freed from federal prison, at least for now, according to a ruling from a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis of Virginia has thrown out seven of the 10 charges for which Jefferson, the disgraced former Congressman from New Orleans, was sent to federal prison on a 13-year sentence.
Ellis ordered Jefferson's immediate release pending re-sentencing on the three remaining corruption charges that the judge held intact.
The judge ruled that the instruction he gave the jury at Jefferson's 2009 trial of an "official act" was too broad with regard to those seven charges in light of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.
Jefferson, now 70, had been allowed to remain free pending his earlier appeals. He has since served about five years of his federal prison term, having entered the federal system in May 2012. He is currently serving time at the federal prison camp in Oakdale, La.
Jefferson's scheduled release date was in 2023, but now that date is uncertain.
Prison records show Jefferson has not been released as of late Thursday morning.