HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a pair of charges and remanded another to a lower court in the conviction of Hattiesburg Pastor Kenneth Fairley.
After a six-day trial, in September 2016, Fairley was found guilty by a jury of his peers on charges of conspiracy to commit theft of government money and two counts of receiving, retaining, concealing or converting money that belonged to the government, all relating to the government agency of Housing and Urban Development through rehabbing houses in Hattiesburg.
Fairley argues that (1) the indictment, jury instruction, and verdict form all misstated the elements, (2) the district court erroneously admitted recorded conversations as non-hearsay statements of a coconspirator; and (3) the district court improperly calculated Fairley's loss amount and imposed an inapplicable sentencing enhancement.
The Court of Appeals issued their ruling on Monday, overturning two of those convictions.
"Because errors in the indictment, jury instruction, and verdict form directly undermined Fairley's defense, we vacate Fairley's conviction under count two and three," according to the court documents.
Counts two and three are theft of government property.
The Court of Appeals did affirm Fairley's conviction under count one, which was conspiracy to commit theft of government property.
"We affirm Fairley's conviction under count one, and the district court's evidentiary and sentencing rulings. We REMAND to the district court to determine whether Fairley's sentence should change in light of the vacated convictions."
As for now, the sentencing timeline has not changed, and can/will be determined by a lower court at a later date.
There has been no date set in Federal Court in Hattiesburg for a hearing at this time.