Langford attorney requests new trial

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Former Birmingham Mayor and Jefferson County Commissioner Larry Langford wants a new trial.

Langford's attorney has filed a new appeal. Larry Langford's attorney Michael Rasmussen says the former mayor deserves a new trial based on several items.

Langford was convicted in October of last year on several fraud charges. In early March of this year, Langford was sentenced to 15 years and he reported to prison in eastern Kentucky later that month.

This new motion asks a judge to reverse Langford's convictions, dismiss the mail fraud charges, and hold a new trial on the other charges.

Attorney Michael Rasmussen argues four issues in the appeal: admission and exclusion of evidence, lack of a "quid pro quo" situation, lack of sufficient evidence on the mail fraud charges and pre-trial publicity. On that last count, the pre-trial publicity, the 50 page appeal actually includes several cartoons published by the Birmingham News as evidence.

The Dean of Cumberland Law School, Judge John Carroll, says he does not feel Langford has much of a chance. "The problem for Larry Langford is that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms 90% of the rulings it receives," says Carroll. "Most of what Langford is complaining about is the trial judge's discretion… The judge is allowed a wide discretion."

No date has been set for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on this new motion. Judge Carroll says he would be surprised to see the appeal make it to court before the end of the year.

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