Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa acquitted in bribery trial
UPDATE: The judge has granted the defense's motion to acquit the charges against Kenny Matassa.
GONZALES- The first day of Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa’s bribery trial concluded with big problems for the Attorney General’s Office.
For the better part of the afternoon, prosecutors tried to admit recordings of the alleged bribe Matassa offered into evidence. Much of the case hinges on those recordings, but when the trial wrapped up for the day shortly after 5 p.m., those recordings were still not admitted into evidence.
Prosecutors say Matassa offered a bribe to Wayne Lawson to drop out of the race for a Gonzales City Council seat. Matassa’s attorney said in prior interviews the money was a loan to a friend.
The state has at least 15 witnesses that will testify in this case. Already, almost half of them took the stand.
Matassa’s lawyer spent all day shooting holes in the investigation and the recordings that captured the alleged bribe. Lewis Unglesby argued in court that most recordings admitted into evidence follow a chain of custody. A 911 call was used as an example. Once a recording happens, limited people have access to it to preserve the integrity of it.
That was not the case in the recordings of the alleged bribe. Unglesby argued there’s no way to tell how many people touched them.
“This has been just terrible for Kenny,” Unglesby said referring to the charges he’s been fighting.
Prosecutors declined to comment when they exited the courtroom. The trial resumes at 8:30 in the morning Wednesday.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Diners shaken after vehicle crashes into outdoor dining area along Perkins Road
La. absentee ballot showing vote for President Trump found stolen, opened and...
Baton Rouge couple comes up with safe way to pass out Halloween...
CDC's COVID-guidelines impact Halloween traditions
Restoring power to La's Zeta-impacted areas may take up to 10 days
Best fantasy players for week 8 in NFL: Fantasy Focus with Reggie...
Fans' Choice Award Winner 2020: Week 4 - Jacoby Howard
Ed Orgeron talks about Brennan's potential return; full Monday press conference
Friday Night Blitz: Week 5 10-23-2020
TJ Finley to replace Myles Brennan as QB this Saturday