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Texas judge postpones consideration of DeLay request to split charges

[JURIST] Texas Judge Pat Priest [official website] said Saturday that he will not immediately consider the request of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive] to separate criminal charges against him. Earlier this month, Priest threw out criminal conspiracy charges [JURIST report; JURIST document] against DeLay, leaving two money laundering charges [JURIST report]. DeLay has asked the judge to sever the charges, allowing a quick trial, but Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website] asked the court last week to delay the trial [JURIST report] until an appeals court can decide whether to reinstate the conspiracy charges. Priest said Saturday that he would not act until the state appellate court rules and also cancelled an upcoming hearing where he was due to consider DeLay's allegations of prosecutorial misconduct [JURIST report; DeLay campaign website]. The Washington Post has more. The Houston Chronicle has local coverage.

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