Former Ga. judge pleads guilty to fraud charge

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A former State Court judge from Clinch County has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge in U.S. District Court.

Homerville attorney Berrien Sutton of Homerville, who resigned as a judge last year, entered a guilty plea Wednesday before Judge Hugh Lawson in Macon. He will be sentenced later.

Sutton was indicted on nine federal counts in July 2008. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed all charges but one - that Sutton accepted an appointment as a juvenile judge from his former law partner, then-Superior Court Judge Brooks E. Blitch III, in exchange for providing Blitch with personal legal services.

Sutton's attorney, Tom Withers, said prosecutors also agreed to dismiss criminal counts against Sutton's wife.

U.S. Attorney Maxwell Wood declined to comment on Sutton's plea.

\(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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