Posted: Mar 2, 2010 4:16 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Mar 2, 2010 7:38 PM
A motion to have the District Attorney's Office in Pointe Coupee Parish recused from an accused drunk driving case is still up in the air.
The case centers around 23-year-old Victoria Gosserand. Investigators say Gosserand slammed into another car just moments before Christmas Eve. The crash killed Terri Parker and badly injured the driver of the car Parker was in. According to investigators, Gosserand was nearly three times over the legal limit.
A judge was supposed to take up the motion Tuesday, but according to defense attorneys he wasn't ready to rule on it. That caused a heated exchange between defense attorneys and prosecutors.
"The motion I filed yesterday was simplistic," Defense Attorney Lewis Unglesby said. "Turns out all this is to be fought about, so I guess we will have to fight about it."
The motion for recusal stems from the fact that one of the defense attorneys represents a prosecutor in a separate case. Unglesby called it a "conflict of interest."
"We had a vigorous exchange as to the law and whether or not District Attorney or any Assistant should recuse themselves," Assistant DA Chad Aguillard said. "We had a vigorous disagreement with that fact."
New Roads police officer Brandon Spillman witnessed the crash. He is scheduled to deploy to Iraq later this month. He was supposed to testify Tuesday, but because the motion of recusal wasn't addressed, the officer couldn't testify.
Family members say there hasn't been any closure since Parker's death.
"This case is strong enough," Parker's aunt, Rose Marie Parker, said. "We have enough evidence that the right thing will be done and justice will be served."
Meanwhile, Parker's mother, Debra Cushionberry, echoed the same sentiments.
Cushionberry said, "It's going to be a long process, and I just want justice for my child."
Both sides are due back in court next week. That's when Judge Alvin Batiste should make a ruling on the recusal motion and whether the "star witness" will tape testimony.