The judge in the Martha Stewart case has pushed back the home design diva's sentencing date three weeks in order to weigh her motion for a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum was set to sentence Stewart on June 17, but will now decide the length of Stewart's prison term on July 8 at 10 a.m. EDT, according to the court.

Stewart's attorneys, Robert G. Morvillo and John J. Tigue, said they expect to make the motion for a new trial later this week based on the contention that the jury was "unfairly affected by the alleged perjury of government witness Larry Stewart."

Larry Stewart, the chief forensic scientist for the U.S. Secret Service, wasn't present at an initial examination of the spreadsheet in August 2002, despite testifying that he was involved in each forensic inspection of the document, the government alleged. He is charged with two counts of perjury.

The Stewart legal team had previously filed a motion for a new trial based on the false statements of juror Chappell Hartridge during jury qualification.

Martha Stewart and Bacanovic, her former Merrill Lynch broker, were convicted March 5 of lying to the government about Stewart's well-timed sale of about 4,000 shares of

ImClone Systems


in December 2001. The founder of

Martha Stewart Omnimedia


was convicted on all four counts in the obstruction of justice case. Both are awaiting sentencing next month.

Among other things, Bacanovic was charged with altering a spreadsheet record of Stewart's stock sales, an allegation supported by the testimony of Larry Stewart, who told the court on Feb. 19 that the ink used to make a notation on the sheet was different from other ink on the page. Oddly enough, making and using false documents was the one count on which Bacanovic was ultimately acquitted.

In March, Stewart resigned as an officer and director of the company she founded, but maintained a role by assuming the newly created post of "founding editorial director."

Shares of Martha Stewart Omnimedia last traded up 12 cents, or 1.28%, at $9.50.