AT SENTENCING: Jon Woods (right).

The attorney for former Sen. Jon Woods filed his brief this week with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging Woods’ conviction for taking bribes to ship state money to Ecclesia College and others.


The arguments had been raised at the lower court level. In summary, the nearly 12,000-word, 57-page brief says:

  • An FBI agent improperly wiped a laptop that contained evidence in the case and the jury should have been told about that
  • Judge Timothy Brooks wasn’t impartial and gave an improper jury instruction.
  • Woods should have been granted a trial delay because of a guilty plea by a co-defendant five days before trial. This “massive turn of events” required a strategy shift by defense counsel.

The argument seeks reversal of the conviction or at least a direction for a new trial.


Woods was sentenced in September to 18 years in prison.  He’s being held in Fort Worth.

Here’s the brief. His attorney, Patrick Benca, has also asked for an extension of time for oral arguments because of the complexity of the case.