Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to an FBI agent investigating a legal fees dispute he was hearing.
DeLaughter appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson. The plea averts a trial, which had been scheduled for Aug. 17. Prosecutors dismissed charges of conspiracy and mail fraud.
DeLaughter was accused of giving an unfair advantage to former multi-millionaire attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs in a dispute over millions of dollars in fees from asbestos lawsuits.
Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 18 months. The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. He won't be sentenced till after a pre-sentencing report is completed in about five weeks.