- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Sentencing has been delayed until Friday for a former state senator who pleaded guilty to paying bribes for prison contracts.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate had been set Monday to sentence Irb Benjamin of Madison, but rescheduled the hearing last week.

Lawyer Joseph Hollomon asked for the delay, saying Benjamin needs more time to prepare and “attend to medical issues.”

Benjamin admitted in court that he paid bribes to former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps to obtain contracts at state prison work centers and county jails. Brandon businessman Cecil McCrory and Epps pleaded guilty to charges connected to the bribery scheme in February 2015. Epps awaits sentencing.

Benjamin faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Prosecutors also want him to forfeit money he gained.

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