Federal judge denies all defense motions presented in Anthony Burfoot case

Posted at 10:01 AM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 13:55:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal judge has denied all defense motions presented in Anthony Burfoot’s case on Wednesday.

The post-verdict motions lasted almost two hours.

Burfoot’s Attorney Andrew Sacks said he will also be filing another motion about newly discovered evidence regarding key witnesses who testified in the case.

Sacks told the judge he plans to file a motion regarding new evidence about Ronnie Boone’s early-onset dementia.

He said he will request a new trial for Burfoot on the grounds that Boone’s cognitive impairments could have affected his memory and perception regarding events he testified about during the trial.

Boone was a star witness for federal prosecutors.

Boone was sentenced to a year of home confinement after he plead guilty to bribery and bank fraud in March.  The judge ruled to keep Boone at home, instead of a year in prison because of his physical issues.  His extremely high blood pressure was the main focus of the argument made by Boone’s attorney.

Sacks also brought up allegations of the relationship between Councilman Paul Riddick and Dwight Etheridge.  Two government witnesses who also testified during the trial.  Sacks said he heard that Riddick organized a fundraiser for Etheridge when he got out of prison and he gave Etheridge a job. Sacks said he was made aware of the allegations through Burfoot.

News 3 reached out to Councilman Riddick but have not heard back yet.

Sacks declined to comment on the new motions coming out of court however, said they would be officially filed soon.

He said they plan to appeal the court’s guilty verdict.

The judge told Burfoot not to expect bond while the appeal process is underway.

Sacks told the judge he plans to request to allow Burfoot to self-surrender.  The judge did not make a ruling on this Wednesday.

Burfoot is supposed to be sentenced on Monday in federal court by the same judge – Henry Morgan.

Sacks argued Wednesday that jurors didn’t deliberate for enough time and couldn’t have weighted all the evidence before finding Burfoot guilty in December.

Federal prosecutors argued the weight of the evidence was overwhelming and the judge sided with them.

There were seven motions filed by the defense and all were denied by Judge Morgan.

There were about 90 witnesses who took the stand during the trial. Jury deliberations took less than five hours against the Norfolk City Treasurer.

The day of the verdict Sacks said, “It’s very disappointing and discouraging…The process that we worked for, for so long doesn’t appear it was considered as thoroughly as it should’ve been.”

A jury found Burfoot guilty of six of the eight charges he was facing for public corruption and perjury. He was facing 4 perjury charges but only found guilty of two of those charges.

Meanwhile, letters of support for Burfoot have been filed in federal court.

The Norfolk City Attorney, Delegate Daun Hester, and other city officials were among those who submitted character letters on Burfoot’s behalf – 31 in total.

Federal prosecutors are asking for Burfoot to be sentenced to 17.5 years behind bars for his political corruption conviction.

But a court filing states that Burfoot’s attorney is asking he serve no more than two years.

When asked if he was ready for Monday, Burfoot said yes. He declined to comment any further.


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