INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Deputy who shot & killed man in Port Allen motel returns to work
PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Deputy who shot and killed a man this summer while executing a drug warrant has returned to work despite the Louisiana State Police investigation not being finished.
Vance Matranga was given back his unit and will be allowed to carry a weapon, though not the one he used to shoot Josef Richardson, according to the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
"Is the fix in?" Ron Haley, an attorney representing the Richardson family asked. "Does the sheriff's office know something we don't know about this investigation which is why this needs to be transparent throughout. We need an independent body to investigate these things."
Richardson was killed in the Budget 7 Motel, while Matranga and the River West Narcotics Task Force were executing a drug warrant. An autopsy revealed Richardson was shot in the back of the neck.
A lawsuit filed by Richardson's family Tuesday claims he was unarmed and dressed only his underwear when he was shot.
When the WBRZ Investigative Unit asked why Matranga was allowed to carry a weapon with the LSP investigation still underway, a sheriff spokesman replied, "It's his God-given right."
That spokesman said the department did not issue him another weapon, but he would be allowed to carry one of his own. The sheriff's office said Matranga returned to work after a doctor deemed he was "fit for duty."
"This completely destroys any faith with the family, community and we are just appalled at this right now," Dedrick Moore, another attorney for the Richardson family said.
Sources told WBRZ they saw Matranga in full uniform with Sheriff Mike Cazes this week. Matranga has not returned to his old position according to the sheriff's office.