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Federal Judge Gets 5-Year Term for Perjury

Associated Press

The second sitting federal judge to be convicted of a crime was denied a new trial Monday and was sentenced to five years in prison for twice lying to a federal grand jury.

U.S. District Judge Walter L. Nixon Jr., convicted Feb. 9 on two counts of perjury for telling a 1984 special grand jury that he never discussed with prosecutors the drug case of a wealthy businessman’s son, was allowed to remain free on bond pending an expected appeal.

Nixon had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines, but U.S. District Judge James Meredith imposed no fine. Meredith gave Nixon the maximum five years on each perjury count but said the terms could be served concurrently.

Nixon, 57, the chief judge for Mississippi’s Southern District, has been on the bench since 1968.

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Nixon’s trial stemmed from his telling the grand jury that he never tried to influence the drug-smuggling case of Drew Fairchild, who eventually pleaded guilty to federal and state charges and served a 4 1/2-month sentence.

Nixon was acquitted of accepting an illegal gift from Wiley Fairchild, Drew Fairchild’s father.


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