Prominent attorney's son arrested on drug charges, allegations of judge shopping surface
WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH- Tonight, there are allegations someone went judge shopping after a prominent lawyer's son received two very different bonds in one night. The bonds were set for drug and weapons charges.
Jailen Jordan was arrested with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana after Brusly Police Officers stopped him for running a stop sign. They said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana when they searched the car and found more than half a pound stashed in a book bag. There were also scales and a handgun inside the book bag.
When Jordan was taken to jail, that's when things got interesting.
"I don't know what you call it, but it certainly is strange to me," West Baton Rouge Parish Colonel Richie Johnson said.
Bond logs kept at the West Baton Rouge Parish Detention Center detail the questionable actions. Elizabeth Engolio was the Duty Judge the night Jailen Jordan was arrested. She set Jordan's bond at more than $40,000 on the drug and weapons charges. Then, later that same night, another judge, Alvin Batiste said Jordan can be signed out without putting up money. The bond fee of $30 was dropped and Jordan was released.
"After going through the records, is that after we called and had a bond set, Mr. Jordan or someone on his behalf called a different judge and had an ROR bond authorized," Johnson said.
Tonight, there are allegations someone went judge shopping.
"We contacted the judge after hours on behalf of Mr. Jordan at his request," Johnson said. "What's aggravating if anything is, don't waste my time after hours if you could have bypassed us and just called the judge yourself. It would have been simpler, or contact the judge that set the bond and have a conversation with that judge about a signature bond."
Edmond Jordan initially declined to speak to us about this issue, but did we speak to us when we approached him prior to a candidates' forum in West Baton Rouge Monday night.
"Obviously it's a difficulty time for my son and my family, and all of us," Jordan said. "As my wife and I along with my son go thru this time, we ask the public for their prayers and their support
He also said he did not make any calls to any judges to have the bond reduced and asked for prayers for his family.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit also reached out to both judges involved, but none of them returned our phone calls.