Nine Lives, All Used Up (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 12:00 am  

Brandon Barber


I hope Barber’s defense attorney Asa Hutchinson III is being well paid and that he got his money up front. I’d be fed up if my client kept blowing the favorable terms I had been able to secure against all odds.

But even the best lawyers can’t always control their clients. When former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner talked her way out a very favorable plea deal, I was reminded that in 2004 her excellent lawyer, Chuck Banks, had to explain to a federal judge in Detroit that he didn’t know why his client, former Little Rock tax attorney Keith Moser, hadn’t shown up for his scheduled guilty plea.

Ten days in a Madagascar jail made Moser suddenly eager to face the music back home. Moser would then argue that the time he spent in the Pulaski County Detention Center — 13 months — was equal to years in federal prison. He was sentenced to 14 more years anyway.

That sentence appears to have been reduced, probably because he testified against his former law partner, Barry Jewell, who was released a couple of years ago. The federal Bureau of Prisons now expects to release Moser next June, which is three and a half years earlier than his original release date.

Gwen Moritz is editor of Arkansas Business. Email her at



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