Court denies appeal in corruption case

Posted: March 20, 2018 at 3:58 p.m.

Jon Woods (from left) Randell Shelton Jr. and Oren Paris

FAYETTEVILLE — A federal appeals court has refused to hear an appeal of an order to dismiss filed by defendants in the corruption case involving former state Sen. Jon Woods.

Woods, Oren Paris III, and Randell G. Shelton sought to have charges against them dismissed because FBI special agent Robert Cessario had a hard drive of a laptop computer used in the investigation erased after being ordered to turn it over for inspection in a evidence-related dispute.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks’ refused to dismiss the charges and the appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals followed.

A three-judge panel today denied the appeal in a two-sentence ruling.

“The court orders that this appeal be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The appellants’ joint emergency motion for stay pending appeal is denied as moot,” the ruling said.

The trial is scheduled to begin April 9.

See tomorrow's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for additional details.