WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ The Investigative Unit The Investigative Unit en-us Copyright 2020, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 7 Jul 2020 HH:07:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Outgoing sheriff strips office down to bare floor, new sheriff ready to move forward https://www.wbrz.com/news/outgoing-sheriff-strips-office-down-to-bare-floor-new-sheriff-ready-to-move-forward/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/outgoing-sheriff-strips-office-down-to-bare-floor-new-sheriff-ready-to-move-forward/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 29 Jun 2020 6:07:10 PM Chris Nakamoto Outgoing sheriff strips office down to bare floor, new sheriff ready to move forward

NEW ROADS - Outgoing Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres is officially out tomorrow, and he's left his office stripped down to the bare floor.

Torres told the WBRZ Investigative Unit that he took the drapes and the wood flooring from his office before he vacated. Those are items that Torres said he paid for. He said he wanted his successor to come in with a blank canvas.

New Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux said no matter what has happened, he's excited to begin work Wednesday. He did say the transition has not been easy.

"There hasn't been hardly any transition at all," Thibodeaux said. "That statement was made to me five or six months ago, I wouldn't be allowed in the courtroom or get set up. There has hardly been any transition at all."

Thibodeaux said despite the challenges he has already encountered, all deputies will get a raise beginning Wednesday. Thibodeaux said he is bringing a wealth of experience to the department, including filling three captain positions with longtime members of law enforcement.

"I was in that office for the last 23 years," Thibodeaux said. "I've got a lot of people coming into my captain positions, they have 29 and 30 years. The experience I am bringing back to Pointe Coupee is going to help me create my own transition."

Thibodeaux said he wants to get back to community policing and is exploring pricing body cameras for the department.

"I talked about bridging the gap between the community and police 13 months ago before all of this started happening around the country," Thibodeaux said. "That's what's in my heart and my belief."

Thibodeaux said the first order of business on Wednesday will be to swear in all the deputies. He said he's excited and grateful for the opportunity to keep the parish safe.


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Group calls for officer with checkered past to resign from civil service board https://www.wbrz.com/news/group-calls-for-officer-with-checkered-past-to-resign-from-civil-service-board/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/group-calls-for-officer-with-checkered-past-to-resign-from-civil-service-board/ The Investigative Unit Tue, 16 Jun 2020 4:30:47 PM Chris Nakamoto Group calls for officer with checkered past to resign from civil service board

BATON ROUGE- Together Baton Rouge is calling for the immediate resignation of Cpl. Robert Moruzzi as Chairman of the Municipal Police and Fire Civil Service Board.

Moruzzi was voted in by members of the Baton Rouge Police Union, and his term expires on July 26, 2020. Together Baton Rouge said his history of police brutality is deeply troubling considering our nation's current climate.

The board has five members, one appointed from the police department, the fire department, the municipal government, LSU and SU. Moruzzi is the appointee from the police department. 

In 2015, taxpayers shelled out $75,000 after he kicked the teeth out of a 24-year-old man while serving a narcotics search warrant. Brett Percle told WBRZ he still thinks about what happened that day.

"He actually upon our first encounter threw me to the ground, kicked my face and the back of my head into the ground," Percle said. "Basically, a curb stomp where I lost four of my teeth."

In 2009, Moruzzi was off duty when he punched a manager of a bar on Third Street and a gun appeared. He was fired from the Baton Rouge Police Department but was reinstated in 2010.

"We are calling for local entities with an appointed position to develop standards for their appointment, considering individuals with an exemplary civil and professional record, free of conflict of interest, and who would serve in the best interest of the community," Together Baton Rouge said.

"It should be people with an exemplary record on this board," Jennifer Carwile with Together Baton Rouge said. "We know there are officers with exemplary records."

Pastor Clee Lowe told WBRZ with the current climate around the nation, Moruzzi's past actions are unacceptable.

"He is unfit. His character is not what it should be, and he does not represent what we believe that should be of the highest order," Lowe said. "Having high ethics and good standards based upon his background as a police officer."

The WBRZ Investigative Unit reached out to Moruzzi and the Police Union.

The Police Union told WBRZ the person who represents BRPD on the Civil Service Board is voted upon by union members. A member of the union told WBRZ that 94 percent of Baton Rouge police officers are members.

Moruzzi told WBRZ he has no intentions of resigning before his term is up on July 26, 2020.

He issued the following statement:

The civil service board is a civilian oversight committee for BRPD and BRFD. I currently serve on this board as an elected representative for the classified employees of the BRPD, which includes not only officers, but other staff such as communications, fingerprint techs, scientists, statisticians, and secretaries. These individuals support my role and my participation on this board, so any change in my position would only ever be to reflect their wants and needs. The hard-working, underpaid men and women of my department deserve a representative who will guarantee equality and fairness for them while preserving employees' rights, which I strive for and believe my board record shows. My peers must believe, as I do, that people sometimes make mistakes. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions & the civil service board ensures that those who deserve a second chance are given one.


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Arsenal of weapons found in convicted felon's Gonzales home https://www.wbrz.com/news/arsenal-of-weapons-found-in-convicted-felon-s-gonzales-home/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/arsenal-of-weapons-found-in-convicted-felon-s-gonzales-home/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 15 Jun 2020 5:45:33 PM Chris Nakamoto Arsenal of weapons found in convicted felon's Gonzales home

GONZALES- A convicted felon is accused of pointing a weapon with a green laser at a Gonzales police officer last week, which ultimately led to his arrest. Authorities found an arsenal of weapons inside his home once they located him.

David Chreene, 36, is charged with felon in possession of a firearm, disturbing the peace and aggravated assault of a police officer. This all came to light when a concerned citizen called 911, reporting what they witnessed. When the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office showed up, they went to Chreene's door.

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Capella with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said the stories that Chreene and his wife were telling investigators did not add up. At that time, they secured a search warrant and found more than 30 weapons inside the home.

"Ten long guns and 20 handguns along with a green laser and various amounts of different ammunition and magazines that were loaded," Capella said.

Chreene has two prior convictions in Webster Parish, one from 2006 and the other from 2007. One was for possession with the intent to distribute drugs. The other was simple burglary.

Chreene violated his probation in 2008 on the drug conviction and was ordered to serve his sentence not on probation but in jail. Court records don't indicate whether he ever reported to jail.

Fast forward to 2020, Chreene had completed his probation, but there's a provision that they must remain weapon free for 10 years following their probation completion, according to Capella. He said that means Capella was not supposed to have weapons in his house at all, even if they did not belong to him.

"It's fairly rare," Capella said. "You do have collectors that have ammunition but it's not every day that you have someone that has 30 firearms, and that amount of ammunition in their residence."

Chreene posted a $15,000 bond and was released from jail. The weapons that were in his home were confiscated. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said it is planning to contact the ATF for assistance.


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Deputy cleared by grand jury in shooting death still out of work, but remains commissioned https://www.wbrz.com/news/deputy-cleared-by-grand-jury-in-shooting-death-still-out-of-work-but-remains-commissioned/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/deputy-cleared-by-grand-jury-in-shooting-death-still-out-of-work-but-remains-commissioned/ The Investigative Unit Tue, 19 May 2020 4:39:21 PM Chris Nakamoto Deputy cleared by grand jury in shooting death still out of work, but remains commissioned

CLINTON- It's been seven months since Christopher Whitfield was gunned down in the parking lot of a store by East Feliciana Sheriff's Deputy Glenn Sims Senior. Despite a grand jury determining no crime was committed, Sims has not returned to work but remains commissioned. 

"The sheriff is thinking about it, and we will have a conversation but as of this moment he is a commissioned deputy," Chief Deputy Greg Phares said.

Whitfield's death touched off protests outside the Clinton Courthouse where people demanded answers. His mother told WBRZ she has been stricken with grief since the shooting.

"My heart is hurting every day," Ella Whitfield said. "I have to go to the graveyard, Mother's Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving. I had to go put flowers on the grave and couldn't give them in his hand. I've been in depression."

The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported one week after the shooting that Sims was convicted three times for crimes he committed. He was also issued a letter of reprimand for sending inappropriate text messages to a 911 dispatcher.

At the time of the report, the sheriff's office said it was only aware of one of his convictions due to the poor record-keeping prior. Sims had also come and gone a number of times from the department.

Phares said Sims has not been called back to work and was not fired because the sheriff's office was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"That was our first priority until this crisis is dealt with, that we didn't want to cut anyone loose," Phares said. "We needed the possibility of bringing someone who is experienced on if necessary. It turned out not to be necessary."

As the family prays for justice, they aren't sure if it will ever come.

"God ain't sleep," Whitfield said. "Justice will be served, because I'm not going to let this drop. I'm going further with it."

The East Feliciana Sheriff's Office said despite Sims having a commission he has not been allowed to work extra duty in the parish.


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After 13 deaths, Pointe Coupee nursing home targeted by statewide strike team https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-13-deaths-pointe-coupee-nursing-home-targeted-by-statewide-strike-team/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-13-deaths-pointe-coupee-nursing-home-targeted-by-statewide-strike-team/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 11 May 2020 4:13:57 PM Chris Nakamoto After 13 deaths, Pointe Coupee nursing home targeted by statewide strike team

NEW ROADS- A strike team made up of investigators from the Louisiana Department of Health, the Attorney General's Office, National Guard and the Federal Health Standards Agency all paid a visit to Pointe Coupee Healthcare last week.

Data released by the Louisiana Department of Health indicated there were 17 deaths in Pointe Coupee Parish as of Monday. Parish leaders said 13 of those deaths are residents at Pointe Coupee Healthcare.

"We noticed at the onset of this that most of our cases, a lot of them, were coming out of that facility," Parish President Major Thibaut said.

Thibaut said his office was flooded with phone calls from at least 30 concerned family members who had loved ones inside the facility. Thibaut said they felt like their complaints were falling on deaf ears with the facility, so Thibaut said he contacted the governor and Department of Health, and quick action was taken.

"Once that strike team came in, people started getting a better notification and better response when they called so it's been good and positive," Thibaut said.

Monica Fabre has multiple loved ones inside the facility. She said she also contacted Thibaut about her disgust with the way things were being run.

"No communication," Fabre said. "I can see if it was botched communication. I can see if it was sporadic communication. I'm talking about no communication. I'm talking about finding out that your loved one's caregiver is positive for coronavirus and you have to call the facility, and then they confirm it for you."

Fabre welcomes any sort of investigation and believes what happened inside the facility is criminal.

"You know people go to jail for far less," Fabre said. "Right now, if someone sees you or looks at me hurting an innocent dog, we are in trouble. Our face will be plastered on every tv screen. But, when it comes to our elderly residents of these facilities, nothing happens... A slap on the wrist."

The WBRZ Investigative Unit found the facility has a checkered history of problems. According to inspection reports online for public viewing, Pointe Coupee Healthcare was cited 13 times over the past three years. The facility was fined in August 2019, $36,000 for failing to timely report suspected abuse and neglect. In 2018, the home was also cited for violating federal standards protecting residents from the spread of infections.

"A lot of people turn to these facilities because they can't give the care to their loved ones, so we trust these people to take care of our loved ones," Fabre said. "For this to happen is no excuse."

The Attorney General's Office released the following statement:

"Our office shares the concern people have for their loved ones in our State's nursing homes. We have received calls from family members and friends of residents, and we have helped to aid them. Our office will continue to do what we legally can to protect patients and residents in Louisiana, and we stand ready to further support LDH if they request our assistance."

Pointe Coupee Healthcare also issued a statement.

"Pointe Coupee Healthcare is working diligently to prevent the spread of this virus while continuing to provide quality care. We remain in close communication with local and state health officials as well as the CDC to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps necessary at this time.

We currently have 12 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in our building and these numbers will change as we are in the process of testing all of our residents under the direction of our medical director to further identify potential positive cases in efforts to prevent the spread.

There is an open investigation with LDH and we are providing them with all requested information.  Any guidance or recommendations given by LDH will be implemented immediately in the facility. Pointe Coupee Healthcare will continue to focus on infection prevention of residents and employees. We will provide and update information as this situation evolves. We would like to thank our staff and the surrounding community for their continued support during this time."


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Angola employee with history of problems under investigation again https://www.wbrz.com/news/angola-employee-with-history-of-problems-under-investigation-again/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/angola-employee-with-history-of-problems-under-investigation-again/ The Investigative Unit Wed, 15 Apr 2020 4:41:34 PM Chris Nakamoto Angola employee with history of problems under investigation again

ANGOLA- A former assistant warden at Angola, who is now a lieutenant there, is under investigation according to the Department of Corrections.

Details on what the investigation involves were not provided by the department. However, multiple sources tell WBRZ that Barrett Boeker got into hot water for spraying an inmate with a fire extinguisher. The Department of Corrections said state law prohibits them from talking about the incident and would not say what the investigation entails.
 
Boeker has been the focus of multiple WBRZ Investigative Unit reports in the past. In 2016, he was arrested and accused of raping a woman who told us she lived with him and his family following the flood of 2016.
 
Boeker was not indicted on those charges after a grand jury was convened without all of the evidence being presented. The WBRZ Investigative Unit discovered in 2017 that the district attorney did not present the rape kit that was administered in the case.

WBRZ does not identify rape victims, but Priscilla Lefebure told us she wanted to speak up so the public would know what happened in her case.

“It’s sickening,” Lefebure said. “It was disturbing what he did to me. It was so hard to write a report.”
 
WBRZ asked the Department of Corrections why Boeker was demoted to lieutenant from assistant warden. They did not respond. Sources tell WBRZ that Boeker asked for the demotion, and it was not tied to any discipline.


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Life-saving equipment La. needs selling faster than can be acquired https://www.wbrz.com/news/life-saving-equipment-la-needs-selling-faster-than-can-be-acquired/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/life-saving-equipment-la-needs-selling-faster-than-can-be-acquired/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 30 Mar 2020 3:22:33 PM Chris Nakamoto Life-saving equipment La. needs selling faster than can be acquired

BATON ROUGE - A businessman in Baton Rouge said he reached out to the state over the weekend offering access to masks and ventilators. This morning, he told WBRZ the state reached out saying they were interested, but the items had already been sold. 

Buddy Berry said he has connections to a man in Florida who has access to hundreds of ventilators and thousands of masks. A string of emails Berry provided to WBRZ, show he was corresponding through the office of state procurement. As of this morning, he said the state was interested, but it was a little too late.

"It's just been really, really slow," Berry said. "As soon as we had ventilators that were FDA approved, within the next few hours they were gone. Everyone that has them are selling them very, very fast."

Berry said this past weekend the ventilators were selling for about $33,000. Nationwide, they've been going between $35,000 and $40,000. But, now those FDA-approved ventilators are gone. 

"Everyone is wanting them," Berry said. " We had 300 ventilators from one vendor and 10 hours after we had them available they had been sold to someone in India. That's what we keep hearing every few hours. We found these. They are here, and a few hours later they are gone."

State law requires that businesses be registered with the state of Louisiana in order for the state to do business with them. Currently, state leaders say they are doing business with companies all over the nation during this time of crisis. 

In fact, the state says this website will help businesses sign up for the process. They added, the law is necessary to protect taxpayers and make sure Louisiana gets the goods that are promised. 

Businessman Fritz Novak out of Miami wondered if the government process is too cumbersome.

The businessmen said the situation shows how fast health care equipment is sold - in a blink of an eye - as communities worldwide compete for the same sale.

"I feel because there is a need, and it needs to happen fast, but I don't think the government is moving fast enough," Berry said.


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After WBRZ report on racist messages sent from judge's phone, NAACP files complaint with Supreme Court https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-wbrz-report-on-racist-messages-sent-from-judge-s-phone-naacp-files-complaint-with-supreme-court/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-wbrz-report-on-racist-messages-sent-from-judge-s-phone-naacp-files-complaint-with-supreme-court/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 24 Feb 2020 1:26:54 PM Trey Schmaltz After WBRZ report on racist messages sent from judge's phone, NAACP files complaint with Supreme Court

NAPOLEONVILLE – The NAACP filed a complaint with the Louisiana Supreme Court after WBRZ reported on a string of racist text messages sent from the phone of an area district judge.

WBRZ was first to report on the messages and allegations of an affair involving the judge and a sheriff’s deputy.

Last week, Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon said the racist text messages were sent to a deputy from a phone belonging to embattled 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie Leblanc.

Falcon said the deputy, Bruce Prejean, received the messages in December of 2018 which refer to another deputy as a "dirty cop, thug, and a [racist expletive]." The sheriff also said the text messages refer to Judge Alvin Turner's law clerk, Brianne Sterling as a [expletive]."

WBRZ has made an editorial decision to not directly quote the word - an offensive word beginning with an "N."

Prejean admitted to a lengthy intimate relationship with the judge last month. Leblanc presided over cases he was involved in during the alleged affair, so the district attorney sent notices to hundreds of people to alert them of the possible conflict.

District Attorney Ricky Babin said letters will now be going out to every single defendant who has ever appeared before Judge Jessie Leblanc beginning in 2012, when she was first sworn in, until now. The defendants and their attorneys will be notified of the racist language she allegedly used. Judge Leblanc presides over cases for things as minor as a traffic ticket all the way up to a murder charge.

Monday, the NAACP said it was filing a complaint with the state’s highest court over the text messages.

The NAACP demanded the judge’s resignation after the initial story appeared on WBRZ last week.

The president of the NAACP's Baton Rouge chapter, Eugene Collins, said he has been in touch with the national chapter as well. He said if Leblanc does not resign, demonstrations will begin at her offices.

Leblanc presides over cases in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

"Every single case she has ever touched should be questioned," Collins said. 

The Louisiana Supreme Court is closed until Wednesday because of Mardi Gras. 


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Lawyers could question 8 years of cases amid racist messages sent from judge's phone https://www.wbrz.com/news/lawyers-could-question-8-years-of-cases-amid-racist-messages-sent-from-judge-s-phone/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/lawyers-could-question-8-years-of-cases-amid-racist-messages-sent-from-judge-s-phone/ The Investigative Unit Thu, 20 Feb 2020 1:19:40 PM Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams Lawyers could question 8 years of cases amid racist messages sent from judge's phone

NAPOLEONVILLE- Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon said racist text messages sent to his former Chief Deputy came from a phone belonging to embattled 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie Leblanc. The messages are laced with comments that he claims are aimed at one of his African-American deputies and an African-American law clerk in Ascension Parish. Judge Jessie Leblanc's attorney Jill Craft vehemently denied that the judge sent the messages and claims the copies provided to WBRZ have been altered.

WBRZ has made an editorial decision to not directly quote the word - an offensive word beginning with an "N."

Falcon said former Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean received the messages in December of 2018 and refer to Assumption Deputy Erick Taylor as a "dirty cop, thug, and a [expletive]." The racist rant is part of a string of text messages Falcon provided to the WBRZ Investigative Unit. The sheriff also said the text messages refer to Judge Alvin Turner's law clerk, Brianne Sterling as a [expletive]."

District Attorney Ricky Babin said letters will now be going out to every single defendant who has ever appeared before Judge Jessie Leblanc beginning in 2012, when she was first sworn in, until now. The defendants and their attorneys will be notified of the racist language she allegedly used. Judge Leblanc presides over cases for things as minor as a traffic ticket all the way up to a murder charge.

Babin said he was made aware of the text messages this week.

"It's a daunting task," Babin said about having to send out letters to defendants dating back eight years. "We are still going through all the other cases in Assumption Parish."

At least 600 of Judge Leblanc's cases are already under review in Assumption Parish, after former Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean admitted to a lengthy intimate relationship with her last month. Leblanc presided over cases he was involved in during the alleged affair, so the district attorney sent notices to hundreds of people to alert them of the possible conflict.

Prejean was demoted and disciplined following the affair.

The situation came to light in December when Judge Leblanc refused to sign a warrant citing a personal relationship she had with Prejean. Leblanc denied she ever said that. Instead, she claimed she had a connection to the undercover agent in the warrant, not Prejean. A lengthy investigation ensued, and Prejean admitted to the affair. Leblanc fled to Florida when the affair was revealed, and the Supreme Court appointed temporary judges to fill in for her. She returned to the bench this month.

After news of the intimate relationship with Prejean broke, Babin and the public defender in Assumption Parish took the rare step following the affair to file a joint motion to have Judge Leblanc removed from hearing any cases in Assumption Parish. A court date on that motion has not been set.

Prejean provides the damning messages to the sheriff

Sheriff Falcon said Bruce Prejean turned the messages over to him this week when Falcon was asked by a reporter about them.

"We have again had a dialogue with Captain Prejean and he has informed us that the two copies of text messages in question were received on Captain Prejean's private cell phone and came from cell phone number 225-***-****, that phone being that of Judge Jessie Leblanc," Falcon said. "There is other supporting evidence to confirm Captain Prejean's statement of authenticity of the messages as received by him."

Falcon notified District Attorney Ricky Babin who said he had a duty to let anyone know who appeared before Judge Leblanc about her alleged language.

The messages Falcon says Prejean received in December 2018

**EDITORIAL NOTE: WBRZ has chosen not to publish the racist word. However, copies of a string of text messages provided to WBRZ-TV contained the pejorative term.**

LEBLANC'S PHONE: Goodbye

LEBLANC'S PHONE: And you don't have to pretend we are friends in front of other people. I've also learned not to be fake.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: So if someone has a question refer them to me.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: And if you feel the need to share my text messages-please share them all so they get the FULL story.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: I'm sure you are with thug ni**** Erick. He is such a good friend.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: I can't wait till the day he is called out for what he is. Dirty cop. Thug. Ni****.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: I guess this time ends with sour grapes too and an inability to talk. It's ok. I'll be just fine.

PREJEAN: I see how you feel. I'm still your friend.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: Friends don't call friends liars.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: I suppose we have different definitions of what a friend is.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: If Brianne makes you happy- good for you. I just feel sorry for your kids and grandkids.

LEBLANC'S PHONE: What an embarrassment

PREJEAN: I'm not seeing Brianne

LEBLANC'S PHONE: At least I was NEVER unfaithful to you with ANYONE- much less a ni****.

Racial makeup of the 23rd Judicial District

Judge Jessie Leblanc hears cases in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

According to the latest census data, about 165,000 residents make up the area that Leblanc presides over.

Ascension Parish has 120,000 residents and is 22-percent African-American.  Assumption Parish has 23,000 residents and is 30-percent African-American.  St. James Parish has 21,500 residents and is 50-percent African-American.

The entire Judicial District combined is approximately one-third African-American.

Fallout and Response 

Legal experts told WBRZ the language used is not only shameful, but raises questions for any African-American who has ever appeared before Leblanc. They said claiming the messages are altered is a common defense tactic.

We have called the chief judge over the 23rd JDC for a comment, along with Leblanc's attorney Jill Craft. Craft declined to do an on-camera interview, but sent the following email:

"As I communicated to you by text messages, the two (2) pages you texted me are obviously altered. As I stated in my text response to you this morning, you can look at the two pages and readily see they have been altered and/or are fake. You have not seen the alleged actual phone from which the photograph of the photograph was supposedly taken, nor have you spoken to the alleged, actual recipient or verified the documents. For her part, my client adamantly denies the altered documents.

You asked whether or not I would be willing to appear on camera. I will not legitimize obviously altered documents. Publication of any information attempting to connect my client with any portion of either altered document is reckless and baseless. I am attaching below what I sent to the Advocate yesterday when whoever you are talking with attempted to shop the same, altered documents:

I have looked at the alleged text messages and they appear to have been altered. For example, if you look at both, one has screen cracks present in the lower left corner not present in the other. The type font with the alleged phone number matches exactly but the text boxes in both do not, meaning someone has deliberately manipulated the content. The alleged messages appear fake. At best, the papers (2) you sent me to review are altered copies of copies of a phone which has not and cannot be validated by anyone. Either way, the documents can, in no way, be verified by anyone. To the extent the Advocate has not spoken with either the alleged sender or the alleged recipient, we submit it is clearly inappropriate for there to be any attribution to anyone or assertion that the altered documents represent anything.

Her response is through me. The documents you sent for review appear to have been clearly altered and are not credible. Additionally, there is no date or time reference and the Advocate did not even view the alleged phone the alleged statements were contained on. The documents are inherently untrustworthy, apparently altered, and therefore denied."


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More than a dozen alleged drug dealers arrested in 8-month investigation https://www.wbrz.com/news/more-than-a-dozen-alleged-drug-dealers-arrested-in-8-month-investigation/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/more-than-a-dozen-alleged-drug-dealers-arrested-in-8-month-investigation/ The Investigative Unit Wed, 19 Feb 2020 6:16:49 PM Chris Nakamoto More than a dozen alleged drug dealers arrested in 8-month investigation

PLAQUEMINE- The Iberville Parish Sheriff reports the arrest of 17 alleged drug dealers from across the parish in an eight-month operation between local and federal authorities.

Sheriff Brett Stassi said the indictments of Plaquemine men Malcolm Jackson and Shaheed Thompson were processed in federal court due to the volume of drugs they were distributing.

Stassi said they were going through three guys in Baton Rouge. They are, Larry Hughes, Alexander Brock and Eric Curtis. All five men were indicted by a grand jury in federal court in December.

The rest of the indictments of local individuals resulted in 45 charges that will be prosecuted in state court.

"Everywhere I go people are saying sheriff, they are picking the low hanging fruit in the drug world," Stassi said. "Through this joint venture, we were able to get to the next and the next level."

Those charged in federal court were indicted on cocaine distribution charges.

Stassi said the collaboration with their federal partners helped make this operation successful.

"These foot soldiers these heavy hitters there will be more and more coming in," Stassi said. "The search for drugs in the United States is insatiable. We need to stop the drugs coming into our parishes. This is the last step of this operation, not the last operation by far."

This is the full list of those arrested.


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Prosecutors want judge to recuse herself amid scandal over relationship with deputy https://www.wbrz.com/news/prosecutors-want-judge-to-recuse-herself-amid-scandal-over-relationship-with-deputy/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/prosecutors-want-judge-to-recuse-herself-amid-scandal-over-relationship-with-deputy/ The Investigative Unit Thu, 30 Jan 2020 12:56:28 PM WBRZ Staff Prosecutors want judge to recuse herself amid scandal over relationship with deputy

NAPOLEONVILLE - A judge accused of having a lengthy affair with an Assumption Parish sheriff's deputy is being pressured to recuse herself from her cases in Assumption Parish.

District Attorney Ricky Babin's office filed a joint motion with the public defender Wednesday asking that Judge Jessie Leblanc either voluntarily recuse herself from all pending cases in Assumption Parish or be recused by the court.

The motion filed uses extraordinary language to describe the judge's alleged behavior.

"Judge Leblanc's words and actions are inconsistent with conduct of an 'independent and honorable' judiciary, and Leblanc falls woefully short of maintaining 'high standards of conduct.'"

Hundreds of Leblanc's cases are currently being reviewed after Assumption Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean admitted he had longtime affair with the judge. At least 600 of them are under review since the judge was sworn in dating back to 2012.

Prejean was demoted after the revelation.

"As a result of internal findings relative to the aforementioned issue, on January 17, 2020, Bruce Prejean's rank was reduced to captain over the Uniformed Patrol Division and his compensation was reduced by $500 monthly," Sheriff Leland Falcon said last week.

The conflict first came to light in December, when Leblanc refused to sign a warrant. At the time, Sheriff Falcon said she told him that she had a personal relationship with Prejean. That prompted Falcon to alert the district attorney for Assumption Parish, who notified about 20 defendants about the possible conflict. 


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Disgraced couple appears at court for divorce proceeding amid child rape investigation https://www.wbrz.com/news/disgraced-couple-appears-at-court-for-divorce-proceeding-amid-child-rape-investigation/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/disgraced-couple-appears-at-court-for-divorce-proceeding-amid-child-rape-investigation/ The Investigative Unit Wed, 29 Jan 2020 4:39:22 PM Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams Disgraced couple appears at court for divorce proceeding amid child rape investigation

LIVINGSTON - A disgraced former Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy and teacher were both escorted into the Livingston Parish Courthouse Wednesday clad in prison orange.

Cynthia and Dennis Perkins were brought to court for a divorce proceeding, but never actually made it into the courtroom. Both are accused of child sex charges, video voyeurism and mingling harmful substances. Prosecutors allege Dennis ejaculated on pastries that Cynthia served to her class.

At least one parent told WBRZ last year, she met with the Attorney General's Office after her child was identified eating the contaminated food on two different occasions. 

"This was so disgusting and sick," the parent said. "My child was an innocent victim in their cruel, sick games they played. The hurt from this is beyond imaginable."

Wednesday, Dennis and Cynthia's criminal defense lawyers told WBRZ they are both looking forward to defending their clients.

Jarrett Ambeau, who is representing Dennis Perkins, said he reviewed all of the evidence that the Attorney General's Office has in this case. Ambeau claims some of that evidence does not support the charges his client faces.

Woody Scott is representing Cynthia Perkins. He told WBRZ he has reviewed some of the evidence and intends to file additional court motions in the next week as he seeks to review it all.

Scott said he is looking forward to the day to tell Cynthia's story.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office indictment against the pair indicates a third adult is also implicated in their alleged activities. That person has not been identified as authorities continue looking for her.

All sides are due back in court for the criminal case in March.


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Investigative Unit: House where 3-year-old was shot had another deadly accidental shooting in 2016 https://www.wbrz.com/news/investigative-unit-house-where-3-year-old-was-shot-had-another-deadly-accidental-shooting-in-2016/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/investigative-unit-house-where-3-year-old-was-shot-had-another-deadly-accidental-shooting-in-2016/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 27 Jan 2020 4:43:35 PM Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams Investigative Unit: House where 3-year-old was shot had another deadly accidental shooting in 2016

UPDATE: The coroner's officer said Tuesday the child died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head. More details here: http://www.wbrz.com/news/coroner-3-year-old-accidentally-shot-killed-himself

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BATON ROUGE - The WBRZ Investigative Unit found the home where a 3-year-old was shot and killed over the weekend, in what authorities are calling an accident, is the same house where another deadly accidental shooting took place almost four years ago to the day.

Family members told WBRZ Monday that 3-year-old Amir Antoine found a gun under a pillow before it went off. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the child's exact cause of death.

Four years ago, 17-year-old Ahmad Antoine was charged with negligent homicide after investigators say he repeatedly cocked a shotgun until it went off shooting and killing 17-year-old Devin Anderson. Antoine was convicted and sentenced to five years of probation.

Both deadly shootings occurred at the same address, 1915 Birch Street in Baton Rouge. Court documents show Ahmad Antoine still lives at the house.

As of now, it's unclear who owned the gun in the shooting that killed Amir Antoine. Baton Rouge police said they were checking, but were waiting on autopsy results to confirm that the shooting was accidental. 

"I thought about my baby because I have a 5-year-old," Lacy Lee told WBRZ Saturday. "It's a sad situation."

Multiple family members were too grief-stricken to talk but said the situation has been devastating.

"Unfortunately you have a child that's lost his life because of something that could have been prevented," Don Coppola with Baton Rouge Police said.



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Two WBR deputies out of a job for misconduct https://www.wbrz.com/news/two-wbr-deputies-out-of-a-job-for-misconduct/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/two-wbr-deputies-out-of-a-job-for-misconduct/ The Investigative Unit Thu, 23 Jan 2020 5:35:44 PM Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams Two WBR deputies out of a job for misconduct

PORT ALLEN - Two West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies are no longer employed with the department due to misconduct.

The sheriff's office said Deputy George Bowen, misplaced his department-issued service weapon and was terminated. The other deputy, David Smith, got on the radio and said he was ready to work in West Baton Rouge but never left East Baton Rouge.

"Bowen was called to the training division to swap out an old weapon for a new weapon," Major Zack Simmers said. "He did not have it. He went, looked for it, found it, light was shed and it had been missing for some time."

The weapon was eventually located, but not before Bowen went out and started using a different weapon that he had not qualified for. Bowen had a prior disciplinary action for getting into a crash in a sheriff's unit in Dallas, Texas when he was attending a funeral for a fallen officer in 2016.

Deputy David Smith had prior discipline as well.

Smith crashed into a pole at a Walmart in West Baton Rouge Parish last year. He was administered a breathalyzer which showed he had alcohol in his system, but was not considered legally drunk. He received a 30-day suspension for the incident.

On Jan. 2, 2020, Smith called in to the sheriff's office saying he was ready for his work day and would take calls, but the GPS on his car showed he never left Baton Rouge.

"We called him in, and when we called him in he had his resignation letter and had he not resigned he would have been terminated also," Simmers said.

Simmers said this discipline should send a message.

"We want to be as transparent as possible," Simmers said. "We have zero tolerance for misbehavior around here. A minor violation, you will be disciplined and not terminated. But, we don't consider these minor violations. It's 2020, we are stepping up and the good are not going to suffer for the bad anymore."


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After disclosing affair with judge, chief deputy disciplined and demoted https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-disclosing-affair-with-judge-chief-deputy-disciplined-and-demoted/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-disclosing-affair-with-judge-chief-deputy-disciplined-and-demoted/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 20 Jan 2020 4:21:33 PM Chris Nakamoto After disclosing affair with judge, chief deputy disciplined and demoted

NAPOLEONVILLE - Assumption Parish Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean has been demoted and disciplined one week after he admitted to having a lengthy affair with Judge Jessie Leblanc. 

That disclosure made a mess out of the cases he investigated and she presided over. At least 600 of them are under review since the judge was sworn in dating back to 2012. The demotion comes with a $6,000 pay cut for Prejean.

"As a result of internal findings relative to the aforementioned issue, on January 17, 2020, Bruce Prejean's rank was reduced to captain over the Uniformed Patrol Division and his compensation was reduced by $500 monthly," Sheriff Leland Falcon said.

That reduction in pay is relative to the pay raise he received when he was promoted to the position of chief deputy. 

All of this came to light last month when Judge Jessie Leblanc refused to sign a warrant. At the time, Sheriff Falcon said she told him that she had a personal relationship with Prejean. That prompted Falcon to alert the district attorney for Assumption Parish, who notified about 20 defendants about the possible conflict. 

When the WBRZ Investigative Unit broke the story about the letters going out, Judge Leblanc told WBRZ that her conflict was with an undercover agent, not Bruce Prejean. Prejean was also asked by the sheriff, who said at the time the relationship was purely platonic. 

In the weeks following that story, Sheriff Falcon submitted to a lie detector test which showed his version was accurate. Prejean then also confessed to a lengthy affair that went on for years with Judge Jessie Leblanc. 

When we reached Leblanc by phone last week, she claimed Prejean was being "dishonest."

Leblanc has not been seen in public since this scandal broke, and an ad hoc judge was appointed by the Supreme Court to hear her cases at least until Wednesday of this week. 


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Ad hoc judge assigned to hear cases for judge at center of investigation into affair https://www.wbrz.com/news/ad-hoc-judge-assigned-to-hear-cases-for-judge-at-center-of-investigation-into-affair/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ad-hoc-judge-assigned-to-hear-cases-for-judge-at-center-of-investigation-into-affair/ The Investigative Unit Tue, 14 Jan 2020 4:35:43 PM Chris Nakamoto Ad hoc judge assigned to hear cases for judge at center of investigation into affair

NAPOLEONVILLE- An ad hoc judge has been appointed to hear cases for a judge at the center of an investigation over the judge's relationship with a criminal investigator.

The review involves Judge Jessie Leblanc and allegations of a long-term affair with Assumption Parish Chief Criminal Deputy Bruce Prejean.  Prejean admitted the relationship when questioned by the sheriff, WBRZ has reported in a series of stories on channel two. 

The state supreme court named retired judge Jerome Barbera as the ad hoc to hear Leblanc's cases Friday in Donaldsonville.  Leblanc's office said it’s uncertain if she will return next week.

Nearly 600 of Leblanc's cases are being reviewed after reports of the affair between the Leblanc and Prejean.  Leblanc oversaw criminal proceedings involving Prejean's cases.

The situation was the focus of a WBRZ report in December highlighting concerns over a then-unrevealed personal relationship between the man and woman.

Leblanc is a judge in the 23rd Judicial District, which covers Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes. Only cases in Assumption Parish are part of the review.

The new revelations come after the December report on Channel 2 about an internal investigation launched by the Assumption Parish Sheriff. The review followed Leblanc refusing to sign a warrant citing a personal relationship with Prejean.

The sheriff said the relationship between the judge and the deputy was brought front and center during the inquiry.

"Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean disclosed that the personal relationship began while LeBlanc was a hearing officer and evolved into an intimate relationship after she became judge and lasted for a lengthy period into her judgeship," Falcon said. "I have disclosed all of these facts to all agencies involved."

Leblanc has been on the bench since 2012.

Judge Leblanc told WBRZ Tuesday, Prejean was being dishonest and added it was not appropriate or ethical for her to talk about the situation further.

LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said the allegations create a mess for criminal cases before Leblanc’s court and are a violation of judicial rules.

"You should not have an intimate relationship with anyone that comes before you in court," Levy said.

"We want our judges to be totally impartial and operate with integrity," Levy said. "The appearance of integrity and that went right out the window."

A tedious amount of work may now need to be done to correct possible wrongs, he said.

"Both of them jeopardized so many cases which is going to create a huge administrative mess," Levy said. "It may have been very unfair to many defendants, and the public loses confidence in the judicial system when this happens."

Levy said if a review by the Judiciary Commission warrants action, Judge Leblanc could face censure or be removed from the bench.

Likening the situation to a concern involving members of a jury, Levy gave an example of jurors being removed from cases if they have a connection to someone involved in a trial.

"If a juror would be immediately dismissed, a judge even more so,” he said. “[A judge] is held to the highest standard in society [and] should immediately recuse themselves” from cases where they have a connection,” Levy said.

Sheriff Falcon said Prejean, the chief deputy, will face discipline but did not disclose the punishment.


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Police form task force to solve killings of three homeless people in Baton Rouge https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-in-killings-of-three-homeless-people-in-baton-rouge/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-in-killings-of-three-homeless-people-in-baton-rouge/ The Investigative Unit Tue, 31 Dec 2019 4:38:03 PM Chris Nakamoto Police form task force to solve killings of three homeless people in Baton Rouge

UPDATE: Police have arrested a suspect in the killings. Click here for the full update. 

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BATON ROUGE- A task force made up of members from local law enforcement agencies was formed in the wake of three homeless people who were mysteriously murdered during a two-week span.

Christina Fowler, 53, and Gregory Corcoran, 40, were both found shot in the head near the intersection of South 16th and North Boulevard on Dec. 13. Two weeks later, Tony Williams, 50, was found shot in the head on the porch of a home blocks away. Investigators believe all three of the homeless victims were asleep at the time of their murders.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said he had been in contact with the feds and the FBI was assisting.

Officials say forming a task force is somewhat unusual for murders. The last time one was set up inside the city limits was in 2017 according to BRPD, when two black men were found shot to death. Their investigation determined Kenneth Gleason was the alleged shooter. He is currently awaiting trial.

Prior to that, police said the last time a murder task force was set up was during the serial killer days. That was in the late '90s and early 2000's as Derrick Todd Lee, Sean Vincent Gillis, and Jeffrey Lee Guillory roamed the streets killing people all around the same time in the Baton Rouge area. 

"It makes me scared," said Roxanne Despanney, a woman that recently became homeless.

The homeless in our community have been advised to walk in groups and try to find somewhere indoors to sleep at night.

With the focus on catching those responsible, leaders at the Baton Rouge Police Department hope their task force will be the answer.

"We got with our surrounding partners, State Police crime lab, State Police, Sheriff Department, Baton Rouge Police, we are all working together," L'Jean McKneely with Baton Rouge Police said.
 


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DA reviewing past cases after judge discloses relationship with deputy, judge disputes claim https://www.wbrz.com/news/da-reviewing-past-cases-after-judge-discloses-relationship-with-deputy-judge-disputes-claim/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/da-reviewing-past-cases-after-judge-discloses-relationship-with-deputy-judge-disputes-claim/ The Investigative Unit Mon, 30 Dec 2019 4:31:17 PM Chris Nakamoto DA reviewing past cases after judge discloses relationship with deputy, judge disputes claim

NAPOLEONVILLE- Dozens of criminal cases could be affected after a possible conflict was revealed the week before Christmas. Judge Jessie Leblanc declined to sign a warrant because she had a personal relationship with Assumption Sheriff's Office Chief Criminal Deputy Bruce Prejean, according to District Attorney Ricky Babin.

Babin said he was made aware of the issue when Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon told him about what happened during a conversation Falcon had with Judge Leblanc.

"As obligated by law, I immediately conferred with Twenty-Third Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin and accurately and thoroughly advised him of Judge Leblanc's disclosure," Falcon said.

It is unclear what the nature of the "personal relationship" is, but District Attorney Babin said out of an abundance of caution he sent out notices to all defendants with pending cases where Judge Leblanc was presiding over matters that involved Prejean.

"We are starting with the active cases, then we have to go back and go to cases that have already had a conviction and things of that sort," Babin said.

In the letter that was sent one week ago, Babin states, "Judge Leblanc has never disclosed to anyone in our office or to a defense attorney in our presence of any personal relationship with Deputy Bruce Prejean and has never recused herself from any other matter involving the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office since she was first sworn in as Judge in Section D."

Babin said it's not his job to determine whether a conflict exists, but he said it is his job to inform defendants and their attorneys of that information. So far, 20 letters have been sent out to defendants with active cases. Now, his office is going through the adjudicated cases that could reach the hundreds depending on how long this "personal relationship" has gone on.

Leblanc has been on the bench serving Ascension, Assumption, and St. James parishes since 2012.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit requested a statement from Judge Jessie Leblanc Monday morning.

The statement reads:

In November 2019, I was presented with an arrest warrant from the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office which identified by name an undercover agent who made a narcotics purchase. The agent is a close relative of APSO Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean. I do not ever recall seeing an arrest warrant where an undercover officer was identified by name.

After reading the name of the undercover officer, I asked the detective to present the warrant to another judge for consideration. Subsequently, I was contacted by Sheriff Leland Falcon inquiring about why the warrant needed to be referred to another judge. I explained to Sheriff Falcon that I voluntarily recused myself from signing the warrant because I have known this particular agent since before his career in law enforcement ever began. Moreover, I provided a recommendation and character reference for the undercover agent when he was applying for employment outside the field of law enforcement. Because my recommendation for employment was clearly an opinion regarding his credibility and character, I voluntarily recused myself in this matter and recommended that the warrant be submitted to another judge for consideration.

On December 27, 2019, I learned of the existence of a letter disseminated by District Attorney Ricky Babin to various defendants and their attorneys. At no time have I been provided with a copy of this correspondence by the District Attorney, nor was I notified by him of the letter’s existence. It has come to my attention that District Attorney Babin’s letter alleges that my recusal on the November arrest warrant was based on a personal relationship with APSO Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean. I felt it necessary to clarify that my recusal in this matter stems from the fact that my prior employment recommendation for the undercover agent would be a conflict at future stages of the proceedings. Additionally, I felt it would be prudent to have another judge consider the warrant due to my concern regarding the unusual circumstance of identifying an undercover officer by name.

 


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Lawyer for Dennis Perkins calls his actions a 'joke,' denies Perkins raped child or contaminated sweets https://www.wbrz.com/news/lawyer-for-dennis-perkins-calls-his-actions-a-joke-denies-perkins-raped-child-or-contaminated-sweets/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/lawyer-for-dennis-perkins-calls-his-actions-a-joke-denies-perkins-raped-child-or-contaminated-sweets/ The Investigative Unit Thu, 19 Dec 2019 4:40:23 PM Chris Nakamoto and Erin McWilliams Lawyer for Dennis Perkins calls his actions a 'joke,' denies Perkins raped child or contaminated sweets

LIVINGSTON - For the first time since Cynthia and Dennis Perkins were arrested back in October, we were given insight into what's going through the mind of the alleged child predators.

"He's struggling," newly enrolled defense attorney Jarrett Ambeau said. "He's embarrassed. He's heartbroken that he participated in some of these things that he would have never wanted to do."

Cynthia and Dennis both entered not guilty pleas Thursday to the very serious charges against them. Those pleas came about an hour after Cynthia Perkins filed for divorce alleging that she is "fearful" of Dennis Perkins.

This week, Cynthia and Dennis were both charged with a combined total of 150 felonies tied to child rape, sexual battery, video voyeurism, production of child pornography, and mingling harmful substances. The duo is accused of contaminating pastries with semen that were eventually served to Cynthia Perkins' class at Westside Junior High in Walker.

"Terrible, inappropriate, ridiculous joking," Ambeau said. "But there's absolutely no time that I (Perkins) ever did that... 100 percent. He wants the community to know maybe I (Perkins) did terrible things, maybe there's bad stuff going on here."

Ambeau also claimed his client did not rape anyone.

Cynthia Perkins' attorneys said they too are ready for her story to be told, but would not say what the story is just yet.

"She has a very different version... A very different story that she is going to tell," James Spokes said. "I'm not prepared to do that at this time but we look forward to doing that in the future."

In the courtroom, Ambeau asked a judge to have Dennis Perkins removed from the isolation unit at Elayn Hunt where he has been spending approximately 23 hours a day in a small room.

"I know that there is a feeling in the community that my client is some kind of monster," Ambeau said. "He's a human being. He remains a human being. We don't believe in torturing people and pretrial punishment unless and until he's proven guilty... He doesn't deserve to be punished prior to being found guilty and having him in a cell 24 hours a day where he doesn't have the freedom to brush his teeth... shower... and make a phone call or go outside is not okay."

The Attorney General's Office declined to comment on Thursday but pointed to the indictment that was handed up by a grand jury this week. It shows prosecutors have video and picture evidence that is now being used against Cynthia and Dennis Perkins.

All sides are due back in court in March for a motion hearing.

Also this week, a lawsuit was unsealed in the Livingston Parish courthouse that shows a parent claiming her child was fed cupcakes contaminated with semen on two different occasions. The lawsuit alleges the Livingston Parish School System did not do enough to protect students.

The school system said it would not comment on pending litigation.


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Cynthia Perkins files for divorce just days after couple's indictment in child rape case https://www.wbrz.com/news/cynthia-perkins-files-for-divorce-just-days-after-couple-s-indictment-in-child-rape-case/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/cynthia-perkins-files-for-divorce-just-days-after-couple-s-indictment-in-child-rape-case/ The Investigative Unit Thu, 19 Dec 2019 11:58:04 AM Jeremy Krail Cynthia Perkins files for divorce just days after couple's indictment in child rape case

DENHAM SPRINGS - Just days after Cynthia and Dennis Perkins were formally charged on 150 combined counts, the couple is slated to get a divorce.

An attorney representing Cynthia Perkins tells WBRZ that the former school teacher has filed paperwork for a divorce from her husband. The new documents filed Thursday claim fired sheriff's deputy Dennis Perkins has made "sufficient threats" against his wife, making her "fearful" of him.

Both were booked on a slew charges including rape, attempted rape and child porn. According to the 44-page indictment filed Tuesday, Dennis Perkins was also charged with sexually abusing a dog and another charge involved him "ejaculating on various pastries and into bottles of energy drinks" which were consumed by unsuspecting victims.

On Wednesday, it was learned the parents of a student who had allegedly been filmed consuming the tainted food filed a lawsuit against the couple and the Livingston Parish School Board.

They are currently being held without bond on new charges brought against them this week. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday.

You can read the full divorce documents here.


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