Jennifer Diaz Enters Plea

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The ex-wife of Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, Jr., has pleaded guilty to attempted tax evasion and agreed to cooperate in the bribery case against the judge, officials say.

U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton told The Associated Press that Jennifer Diaz pleaded guilty Monday of attempting to evade paying about $27,000 in income tax for the calendar year 2001.

She was accused, along with attorney Paul Minor, former Circuit Judge John Whitfield, former Chancery Judge Wes Teel and her husband in a scheme in which Minor allegedly doled out cash, loans and gifts for favorable decisions.

Bribery and fraud charges against Jennifer Diaz were dropped as part of the plea agreement. She could not immediately be reached for comment and messages left at her attorney's office were not returned.

Lampton says that Jennifer Diaz might be used as a witness but he declined to discuss specifics of the case.

The trial for the others is scheduled for May 9. All have pleaded not guilty. A status conference is scheduled for Tuesday.