Jeffrey Pierce's next court date will say a lot about how the genial Pittsfield homebuilder, who became entangled in fraudulent loans a decade ago, will spend the coming years.

In jail? Or preparing for a trial?

The Berkshire Eagle  reports  after taking a motion under advisement in late May, a federal judge says he will rule July 17 on whether Pierce can withdraw the guilty plea he entered in June 2018.

In a notice issued Wednesday, Judge Mark G. Mastroianni said he would rule on that request from the bench in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Mastroianni will reveal what he makes of the highly unusual request from a federal defendant to wriggle out of a plea agreement. "No further argument from counsel is expected," the notice said.

For Pierce, the judge's decision could set the stage for a trial, at which the government would have to prove that Pierce conspired to commit fraud involving Greylock Federal Credit Union.

If Mastroianni denies the motion, Pierce is expected to face sentencing, bringing him back to the point he was at April 6, when he and his attorney, joined by more than a dozen family members and friends, turned out in the Springfield courtroom.