Judge concerned about courthouse safety after brawl
NEW ROADS - A judge in Pointe Coupee Parish sent a scathing letter to high-ranking members of law enforcement and the district attorney following a courtroom brawl Wednesday.
A relative of two murder victims from February had beef with someone related to Jamie Croom, the man accused of killing them, according to Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres. The skirmish unfolded at a hearing about another shooting from last September involving the two families.
"In my 22 years as judge, I have never experienced such a breach of security," Judge James Best wrote in a letter, saying he wanted security increased.
Authorities said Jamie Croom killed a brother and sister at the Sugar Shack Lounge in New Roads on Mardi Gras night. He was on the run for weeks, until he was tracked down by U.S. Marshals. During that confrontation, Croom killed Marshal Josie Wells. A team returned fire, killing Croom.
Investigators said Dikeya Williams and Stanley Brue encountered each other at court, and Williams provoked Brue. Both of them were arrested for disturbing the peace after the brawl. Williams' mother was killed by Croom and Brue is related to Croom, according to law enforcement.
"We were fortunate to have New Roads Police Officers there, and they were also listening to the radio," Torres said. "Other officers responded in the area, so we were able to keep it from becoming a larger problem."
Judge Best said he was shocked Brue was only given a citation.
"I witnessed Mr. Brue manhandle six law enforcement officers, all of whom were never able to subdue Mr. Brue," Best's letter said.
Investigators said the shooting from September may have been a precursor to the shooting that occurred on Mardi Gras night. That's the reason why everyone was so tense, according to investigators.
"Emotions were high in light of what's happened over the last few months with the shooting we had from Mardi Gras," Torres said. "It's all family and related members, but a different incident."
The sheriff said more security will be added the next time they come to court.
"There are people inside the families that don't condone this behavior on both sides," Torres said. "So it's a tightly-woven web here."
Williams posted a $10,000 bond today according to the sheriff's office. She was also charged with intimidating a witness.
If you would like to read the letter Judge James Best sent, click here.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Police chief says no reason to be alarmed despite 8 shootings in...
Push for "City of St. George" could return, but with obstacles
Paratroopers jump into the Box as LSU welcomes military, baseball season
Chief: More police, partnerships will work to curb violent streak
INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: US Marshals searching for escaped WBR inmate