New trial date set for Fairley, Fletcher

New trial date set for Fairley, Fletcher
Kenneth Fairley/Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hub City Rev. Kenneth Fairley and his co-defendant, Artie Fletcher, have a new trial date set in federal court.

Court documents filed June 7 show that a request to reset the hearing for a jury trial to Sept. 6, 2016, was approved.

Fairley and Fletcher were set to stand trial before District Judge Keith Starrett on Monday, June 13.

Fairley cited six arguments in his attempt for a continuance, some including, violation of a speedy trial and the number of documents in the case was not able to be reviewed in time by his legal counsel, as well as an addition of other legal counsel.

"The court therefore finds that Fairley has not shown that a continuance is necessary," court documents read.

Fletcher, the co-defendant in the case was granted the continuance on behalf of a critical witness.

"Fletcher filed a motion to continue and argued that the sudden health issues of a critical witness in his case will cause him prejudice if a continuance is not granted.

Fletcher's mother, Elaine Fletcher, is expected to testify in this case in his defense, and "will be unable to participate in the trial given the current setting, as she is currently hospitalized after suffering a stroke," according to court documents.

Fletcher's motion was granted by the court.

Fairley is accused of receiving HUD grants through his organization, Pinebelt Community Services, to restore a pair of houses in Hattiesburg.

Co-defendant, Fletcher, who runs Interurban Development in New Orleans, are both accused of defrauding the United States government.

Fairley was indicted on a six count federal indictment on March 23, for conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of government money, conspiracy to commit money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions.

Fletcher's indictment details crimes including, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit money laundering and engaging monetary transaction in property derived from unlawful activity.

The maximum penalties for the crimes charged in the indictment are as follows:

  • Conspiracy to defraud the U.S. - 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; Theft of government
  • Money – 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering - 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine or twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction
  • Engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity - 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine or twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Federal aid to local housing agencies (HAs) that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford according to the government entities website.

According to HUD.gov, there are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by some 3,300 HAs.

HUD also furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.