Judge denies request for new trial in Anthony Burfoot case

Norfolk Treasurer Anthony Burfoot and Attorney Andrew Sacks on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, after a jury found Burfoot guilty of public corruption and perjury. (WAVY Photo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A judge ruled Wednesday that former Norfolk city treasurer Anthony Burfoot will not get a new trial.

A motion filed Tuesday by Burfoot’s defense attorney Andrew Sacks requested a new trial based on what he claims is new evidence.

Sacks argued in court that one of the key witnesses for the prosecution paid another key witness. Councilman Paul Riddick, who testified against Burfoot, recently gave $100 and a job to developer Dwight Etheridge — another key witness against Burfoot who just got out of jail.

Sacks tried to argue that that interaction showed a possibility that Etheridge’s trial testimony could have been false and that he could have given it because he knew Riddick would help him when he got out of jail. However, the judge said that the payment happened after the trial, and thus is not “newly discovered evidence” that could have influenced a jury. The judge also said it’s beyond belief to think a payment and a job between two known associates would have produced an acquittal for Burfoot.

Special Coverage: Burfoot Corruption Trial

Earlier this year, a judge sentenced Burfoot to six years in prison on charges including wire fraud and perjury.

Burfoot has maintained his innocence — and told members of the media before turning himself in that he will keep fighting for the truth.

Sacks also tried to get a new trial on the grounds that another key witness — Ronnie Boone — may have early onset dementia.

Boone was a key figure in a month-long jury trial after he pleaded guilty in September to bribing several high-ranking Norfolk officials, including Burfoot.

Ronnie Boone takes the stand in Burfoot corruption trial

The well-known Norfolk developer was sentenced in March to one year of house arrest. A judge cited Boone’s health as a factor in the sentencing. WAVY’s Matt Gregory reported that a doctor testified in March’s sentencing hearing that Boone was suffering from hypertension that was uncontrollable.

The judge said Wednesday that there were no signs that Boone had any cognitive impairments during the trial.

Sacks has previously filed motions calling for a new trial as well as acquittal on certain charges. He told 10 On Your Side he still plans to appeal the conviction.