Lakin waives right to have charges read in superseding indictment

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 3, 2008, 11:45am

Tom Lakin filed a motion with U.S. Magistrate Judge Phillip Frazier March 31, waiving his right to have the charges of the third superseding indictment read to him.

Lakin also pleaded not guilty to all charges in his motion.

Lakin was scheduled to appear at 11:30 a.m. on April 4 for his arraignment after a federal grand jury in East St. Louis returned a third superseding indictment against him.

The only difference between the new indictment handed down and the preceding one is the name of the person who signed it.

Last month during hearings in which Lakin attempted to plead guilty to drug charges in exchange for sex charges to be dropped, U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert questioned the validity of the second superseding indictment because it was signed by Randy Massey, whose appointment as interim U.S. Attorney had expired at the time the indictment was signed.

He said it should have been signed by the new U.S. Attorney, A. Courtney Cox, who was asked by the Justice Department to recuse himself from all criminal matters until the FBI conducted a criminal background check first.

Gilbert said the law calls for a government lawyer to sign indictments but questioned which lawyer could actually do it.

Cox passed his background check in February and since has signed all indictments that his office has secured, including Lakin's.

On April 2, Frazier signed an order accepting Lakin's waiver of appearance and entered a plea of not guilty for Lakin.

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