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The Latest: Judge sets dates for ex-sheriff’s contempt trial

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s criminal contempt-of-court case (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

A federal judge has set new dates for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge.

In an order Thursday evening, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton says the bench trial will be held June 26-30 and July 5-7.

Arpaio’s trial had been scheduled to begin on April 25.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Bolton reluctantly agreed to the delay after Arpaio’s lead attorney quit the case last week.

Other lawyers who recently joined his legal team said they didn’t have enough time to properly prepare for the trial.

Arpaio faces the misdemeanor charge after prolonging his immigration patrols for 17 months, even though a judge in a racial profiling case had ordered them stopped.

Arapio has acknowledged extending the patrols but said his defiance wasn’t intentional.

If convicted, the 84-year-old Arpaio could face up to six months in jail.

2 p.m.

A surprising name has been added to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s witness list at his upcoming criminal contempt-of-court trial: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose agency is prosecuting the lawman for defying a judge’s order to stop his immigration patrols.

Jack Wilenchik, one of Arpaio’s attorneys, said Sessions’ testimony would underscore a contradiction between current federal immigration policy and the 2011 court order that his client is charged with violating.

The attorney general’s name was added to the list in a court filing Wednesday night.

Arpaio faces the misdemeanor contempt charge for letting his immigration patrols continue after a judge in a racial profiling case had ordered them stopped.

Arpaio has acknowledged prolonging the patrols but insists his defiance wasn’t intentional. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to six months in jail.

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