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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Defendants in a corruption case involving a former Arkansas lawmaker will appeal a federal judge’s refusal to dismiss the charges.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that former Sen. Jon Woods, Oren Paris III and Randell G. Shelton sought to have fraud and conspiracy charges against them dismissed because an FBI special agent erased the hard drive of a laptop used in the investigation after being ordered to turn it over in an evidence-related dispute.

But U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks ruled last week to allow the charges to stand.

The three filed on Thursday the notice of appeal alleging Brooks’ ruling violates due process “due to the bad faith destruction of evidence potentially useful to the defendants by the government.”

The defendants are accused of participating in a kickback scheme involving state grants.


Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,