HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Kenneth Fairley's three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of government property stands.
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett has denied a motion for resentencing that was filed after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two of Fairley's convictions and sent the third back to district court for consideration.
Fairley, a Hattiesburg pastor, was convicted on three federal charges, including conspiracy to steal government money and two counts of receiving, retaining, concealing or converting government money, in September of 2016.
The charges were detailed in a federal indictment that accused Fairley of defrauding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through housing rehabilitation projects in Hattiesburg.
Fairley was sentenced to three years per count, ordered to be served concurrently. He was also ordered to pay more than $60,000 in restitution and $30,000 in fines.
Fairley appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court, which overturned the theft of government property convictions. The court said the charges were overturned because "errors in the indictment, jury instruction, and verdict form directly undermined Fairley's defense."
The conspiracy conviction was sent back to U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg to consider a change in sentence "in light of the vacated convictions." Fairley argued he should be released on bond pending the resentencing hearing.
Starrett ruled Fairley's sentence for the conspiracy conviction should remain the same, because that sentence would be the same without considering the two vacated convictions.