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Disgraced former Justice of the Peace contracts COVID-19 while in jail

1 year 4 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, May 12 2020 May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020 6:00 AM May 12, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - Moses Evans Jr., a former Justice of the Peace and officer of the law who was arrested for allegedly beating his former girlfriend and her children on multiple occasions has contracted COVID-19.

According to The Advocate, on Monday Evans' attorney announced that the 56-year-old was returned to jail after being hospitalized with the illness. 

Evans was being held without bail at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison after being accused of abusing his ex and her children in 2019. 

The former Baton Rouge police officer is charged with domestic abuse battery by burning, second-degree battery and aggravated second-degree battery, and cruelty to juveniles and second-degree cruelty to juveniles. He has pleaded not guilty.

He was behind bars when the novel coronavirus outbreak hit.

Evans' attorney, Martin Regan, filed a motion in mid-April citing the coronavirus outbreak and asking state District Judge Beau Higginbotham to reduce his bail or put him on home incarceration.

East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Melanie Fields wrote in an April 20 court filing that Regan phoned her April 17 and stated Evans had been transferred to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center with severe symptoms related to the coronavirus.

Fields requested that Higginbotham reduce Evans' bond while he was hospitalized but asked the judge to reconsider the original "without bond" order upon Evans regaining his health and his potential release from the hospital. 

Regan had asked for a hearing on his bail reduction motion, but Higginbotham denied that request on April 22 and reduced Evans' bail to $400,000.

Regan said Monday he still wants a bond hearing so he can argue home incarceration for Evans.

"We're waiting to get back in the courtroom," Regan said. "We're trying to get a hearing on the bond."

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he's glad Evans is doing well but stressed that his office will oppose any further bail reduction.

"Based on the defendant's current health status and his return to prison …, the State's position is that, if the Court grants another hearing on bond, the State will fully oppose and relitigate including testimony and evidence — asking that he, again, be held without bond," Moore wrote in an email.

Evans' next scheduled court date is a July 24 sanity hearing. Last October, a judge ordered three doctors to determine whether Evans is competent to stand trial and if he is capable of assisting his attorney. State District Judge Don Johnson also asked the doctors to issue reports on Evans' competency at the time of the alleged offenses.

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