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Investigations launched after WBRZ report reveals DWI deal in Denham Springs

4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, July 26 2017 Jul 26, 2017 July 26, 2017 5:33 PM July 26, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS- The Mayor of Denham Springs has launched an investigation into what occurred after the city prosecutor he appointed, Blayne Honeycutt, refused charges on a DWI for prominent attorney Alton Shelby Easterly.

Wednesday, the WBRZ Investigative Unit also learned the Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel is aware of this, and that office is looking into it. 

Easterly admitted to drinking, failed field sobriety tests and blew a .181 in the Breathalyzer. Despite having that evidence and body camera footage from the night, when Honeycutt got the case the DWI vanished.

     > WATCH entire arrest video from officers' body cameras HERE

"Based on the story I saw, I think our police department did a fantastic job, professional, courteous and everything they were supposed to do," Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said.

Landry appointed Honeycutt to the position and said after the original story on WBRZ earlier this week, he's not happy with what occurred.

"Of course I'm not ok with that as mayor," Landry said. "That's common sense. Everybody has to be treated fairly. As far as the facts, all I have to go by is what you aired on TV last night. We will do our investigation, and come up with a resolution fairly soon."

The body camera footage and reports written by Denham Springs Police on the night of the DWI stop showed Easterly asking for the officers to call Shannon Womack. That's the Denham Springs chief of police.  He then told officers he was going to have City Prosecutor Blayne Honeycutt pick him up.

The Investigative Unit found that Easterly paid Honeycutt $2,500 last year in campaign contributions when Honeycutt unsuccessfully ran for judge.  Honeycutt denied the DWI case was a political favor.

In the original WBRZ story, Honeycutt explained his decision: "I'm not saying (the DWI) wasn't good, we don't do pretrial diversion. We informal[ly] pretrial people."

Following the story, City Court Clerk Mickey McMorris said he's never seen anything similar before, and the entire court was blindsided by the prosecutor's decision.

     > WATCH the original WBRZ story HERE

"I don't know what informal pretrial diversion is," McMorris said. "We don't have one nor do we have a formal one."

As the fallout continues to grow, the mayor says he intends to talk to Honeycutt about why this happened. Mayor Landry said the public in Denham Springs can know the right thing will happen moving forward.

"I think my past record reflects that I'm not afraid to make tough decisions," Landry said. "So we will do whatever is necessary."

The mayor says he intends to meet with the district attorney's office as well to talk about this case.

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