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Suspect in killing of black men appears before judge today

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BATON ROUGE – The suspect accused of killing and shootings that seemed to have targeted African-Americans was meek as he appeared before a judge via closed-circuit TV for a bond hearing Wednesday.

The video feed was obtained through a public records request by the WBRZ Investigative Unit.

Gleason appeared before Judge Trudy White in an orange and white striped jumpsuit, typical of prison uniforms, and was less stoic than his stern and quiet disposition seen when he was photographed being taken to jail a day earlier.

“Alright, sir,” Judge White said, as she calls for Gleason to appear before the camera and calmly, matter-of-factly reads the charges aloud, providing no additional commentary. White was cordial as she read through the charges, either clarifying no bond or bond amounts.

Gleason, who faces a list of charges, was not granted bond on the most heinous accusations – those relating to the deaths of two black men and the shooting of a black family's home. Authorities suspect the victims were selected because of their race. He will not be allowed to leave jail.

White, who is African-American, never expressed an emotion to the charges as she spoke with Gleason via a video feed.

Gleason appeared from a camera at the jail.

After reading the bond and charge information, White commented she agreed with Gleason's decision to not cooperate with investigators and ask for an attorney.

“[The notes report you] refused to answer any more questions without your attorney… so that's a good response,” the judge said. “You have lawyered-up, so just follow the instructions of your attorney,” she added before dismissing Gleason with, “good luck to you.”

But, Gleason shows a human side, asking before being taken back to his jail cell if he can be moved off suicide watch.

“Excuse me, one question,” he alerted politely. “Are they going to take me off of suicide watch?”

Gleason slowly walked up to the camera again, pulling his shackled feet along the floor.

The judge responded by, at first, referring the issue to the medical staff at the jail, then wondering if Gleason and his attorney have discussed him being labeled a suicide risk.

“Do you want us to contact your lawyer?” Judge White asked.

“I haven't talked to him since I've been brought here,” Gleason said.

Judge White offered to call or text Gleason's attorney who she said will “handle it.”

As Gleason walked off camera, the judge said to someone on her end, “We can go off the record now” - signaling the recording to be stopped since court business was complete.

Just before the feed is interrupted, it appears the judge was going to make her first comments on the case to a staffer - “I think anybody that has those charges,” the judge said as the feed ends.

The entire hearing lasts about three minutes. The video can be seen at the top of this story. 

Click HERE for more coverage of the shootings from WBRZ.com and WBRZ News 2.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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