After a federal judge today said the trial of Springfield millionaire William Cellini will go forward on Oct. 3,
Rod Blagojevich's lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky, said this afternoon that he's "quite certain" the ex-governor's sentencing will be delayed.
"Our sentencing date is going to be continued," Sorosky said, when told of the news that U.S. District Judge James Zagel kept Cellini's Oct. 3 trial date intact and asked that prosecutors have witnesses ready for Oct. 5. Blagojevich's sentencing right now is scheduled for Oct. 6. "It's not going to happen, I'm telling you. It would taint the Cellini jury. I'm quite certain it will be continued."
Cellini was a onetime co-defendant of Blagojevich. In court today, Cellini lawyer Dan Webb raised questions about publicity from Blagojevich in general affecting his client and asked that potential jurors be questioned individually. Webb asked Zagel in court about the ex-governor's sentencing date and the judge cut him off: "We'll deal with that later," Zagel said.
There is a status hearing in the Blagojevich case Wednesday.
"I assume Judge (James) Zagel in his wisdom will probably tell us (on Wednesday) we're being continued on the 6th," Sorosky said.
Prosecutors would not comment after court.
The Blagojevich sentencing promises to be a heated fight, after prosecutors calculated the former governor's possible sentencing range at 30 years to life. Prosecutors though said they were required to come up with calculations under law and have not made their recommendation on what sentence should face yet.
Cellini is accused of trying to extort a businessman into giving a campaign contribution to Blagojevich.
The Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month first reported that a delay was likely for Blagojevich.
Zagel did not rule on the government's request to bar the defense from poking into the racy past of top witness Stuart Levine. Webb said he needed time to respond to a couple of petitions put forth by the government.