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Judge Denies Request To Push Arapio's Trial Back

Mike Theiler/UPI

A federal judge has denied a request to push back outgoing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge because of the NCAA men's Final Four basketball tournament.

Prosecutors sought to have it moved from April 4 to April 25 because of "expected scarcity of hotel accommodations for witnesses, attorneys and staff" in the Phoenix metro area.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Tuesday the government's motion is premature and she intends to schedule a pretrial conference in early 2017 to discuss the parties' readiness for trial.

The contempt-of-court charge stems from Arpaio's decision to prolong his signature immigration patrols for 17 months after the judge in the racial profiling case had ordered them stopped.

The six-term sheriff faces up to six months in jail if convicted.

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