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April trial date set for Virginia lawmaker Joe Morrissey

Posted at 8:20 AM, Feb 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-09 13:14:51-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - A trial date has been set for Virginia State Delegate Joe Morrissey (I - Henrico). During Monday's hearing in Henrico Court, Morrissey's new trial date was set for April 28-30. Morrissey will be allowed to represent himself at court, as co-counsel.

Morrissey plead not guilty to the new felony charges.

Last month, prosecutors filed four new charges against Morrissey.  Morrissey is accused of entering falsified documents into evidence as part of a previous case in which he was accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Morrissey is serving a six month jail sentence, after he entered an Alfred plea in that contributing to the delinquency of a minor case. He is allowed to leave jail and go to work at the Virginia General Assembly through a jail work-release program.

Prosecutors alleged Morrissey had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage staff member at his law office. The paperwork at the center of the falsified documents charges was a court order that spelled out how the teenager’s father would pay child support to her mother. The teen's father, Coleman Pride, said his signature on the document was forged. Police also noticed irregularities, like the lack of a judge’s signature and an official inked stamp.

Morrissey called the new charges a "harmful and mean spirited" blow.  He has asked the judge to let him represent himself in court since he is still a practicing attorney.

A special prosecutor from Arlington, Theo Stamos, was assigned to the new charges because Morrissey accused the previous prosecutor of having a vendetta against him.  In court Monday, Stamos said her team needed about 90 days to prepare for trial since they were only recently assigned the case.  Morrissey had requested the trial be held within the next 21 days.

Following the hearing, Morrisey's lead attorney, Anthony Troy, said they were confident they will prove to the jury the document in question was not forged.