Attorney general drops case against former sheriff's captain after key witness refuses to testify
NEW ROADS- The Attorney General said it will no longer prosecute former Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Captain Adrian Slaughter for payroll fraud after his former boss refused to testify.
Sheriff Bud Torres has come under fire recently after the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed that a ghost employee, Randy Guidroz, was paid for more than a decade without any record that he did any work. Torres has refused to answer any questions about it. That is now the focus of an investigation by the FBI.
With Torres in the middle of that mess, the attorney general's office said Torres had indicated that he would plead the fifth if he was called to testify in the Slaughter case.
"In light of new evidence and circumstances beyond our control, the Louisiana Department of Justice's Criminal Division is unable to ethically proceed with prosecuting the Adrian Slaughter criminal matter. Counsel for former Pointe Coupee Sheriff Beauregard Torres, a critical witness, informed us of Torres' intent to exercise his Fifth Amendment Constitutional right to remain silent if we called him to testify. Since Torres served as Sheriff during the period of Slaughter's alleged criminal conduct, his testimony into factual, procedural and documentary evidence is essential. As such, Torres' refusal to testify is fatal to the State's prosecution and we are unable to meet our high burden of proof under the law."
Slaughter's attorney, David Belfield told us there were other problems with the case.
"We've learned there are other employees... not the ghost employee, but other employees with the same problem that he [Torres] didn't do anything to them at all," Belfield said. "He selectively chose Captain Slaughter to go after him because Captain Slaughter was a threat to him."
Slaughter ran into trouble when Torres claimed he billed for working extra duty while he also claimed to be on the clock at the Sheriff's Office.
Wednesday, Belfield issued the following statement on the attorney general's office choosing not to move forward with a prosecution.
"Mr. Slaughter is extremely happy to have this matter resolved favorably for both he and his family. Over the past six years, the sheriff has attempted on four (4) occasions to attack his character and have him fired without justification. Each time he has stood his ground and defended himself from the unjustified attacks. This latest attack has caused Mr. Slaughter the loss of four (4) years of salary, overtime and benefits, mental anguish, defamation of his character and has placed a blemish on a distinguished 29-year law enforcement career."
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