JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. J.B. "Jet" Banks, D-St. Louis, has at least one more reason to be thankful Thursday.
Tuesday, Cole County Circuit Judge Byron Kinder granted a continuance in Banks' sentencing hearing. Banks was unable to travel to Jefferson City, because he is being treated for chest pains and pneumonia at a St. Louis hospital. He also suffers from diabetes.
"The man is ill," Kinder said, when asked why he granted the continuance. "I don't do carry out decisions and I don't go to a defendant, they have to come to me."
It was the second time in two weeks that the hearing has been postponed. Banks, who pleaded guilty in September to charges that he lied on state tax returns in 1994 and 1995, was originally scheduled for sentencing on November 18. That hearing was delayed because Banks' attorney, Don Wolff, had just returned from a long trip and was unable to review pre-sentencing material.
If convicted, Banks, who was elected to the Senate in 1976, faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The judge also has the option of sentencing Banks and then suspending the sentence, in which case the felony charge would be expunged from any permanent record.
The hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Cole County Courthouse.