Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque has a new court date – Oct. 10.
LaRoque, a former Kinston Republican convicted in June of stealing from federally-funded economic development groups he ran, is scheduled to be in court on a motion for a new hearing because of juror misconduct.
The hearing on a motion for a new trial is now scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 10 at the federal courthouse in Greenville.
Court documents filed by the prosecutor in the case, Dennis Duffy, said he and LaRoque’s attorneys have met to discuss the case as well, though the details of discussions were not divulged.
“During the last ten days, the parties have had an in-person meeting and numerous email communications regarding issues pertaining to this case,” Duffy wrote in a motion to continue a previously scheduled hearing
A juror in the case admitted doing home Internet research on IRS tax rules while jurors were considering whether or not to convict LaRoque. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard, who presided over LaRoque’s case, already set aside the jury’s verdict on two of the 12 charges LaRoque was initially convicted of and will decide whether LaRoque deserves a new trial on all the courts.
LaRoque has maintained his innocence from the beginning of the criminal case, saying that the $300,000 he is accused of stealing was owed to him as part of a lucrative benefits package from the small economic development non-profits funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural lending program.