Prosecutors fire back after corrections officer claims she was raped by inmate
ST. GABRIEL- Prosecutors in Iberville Parish fired back Friday after a former corrections officer at Elayn Hunt gave an emotional interview this week to the WBRZ Investigative Unit alleging she was raped by inmate Erick Dehart.
"As a prosecutor, I'd rather see 100 guilty people go free before I run the risk of putting an innocent man in jail to go off and die in prison," Prosecutor Tony Clayton said. "If you accuse a man of that, bring forth the evidence."
Wednesday, Deshunta Miller said she was raped at knifepoint by Dehart over the summer. Miller claimed she was retaliated against by the Department of Corrections and terminated after she made the allegations. Instead, the Department of Corrections fired her, after they alleged she had an inappropriate relationship with a different inmate. When a grand jury convened last month, it indicted Miller on malfeasance charges instead of Dehart.
"I feel like they did this to cover themselves so it won't make them look bad as to what happened to me," Miller said.
Her attorney echoed those sentiments and said in his 15 years of practicing law, he's never seen a grand jury convene on a rape case and not have results from the rape kit. He believes this is part of a larger conspiracy.
"I've never seen this in my 15 years of practice," Turner said. "Never. No reason that they needed to rush that grand jury proceeding. He was in jail and they could have waited until it was done. Why would you tell the detective that did the investigation not to appear at the grand jury proceeding?"
Prosecutor Tony Clayton said he is appalled at those comments.
"He says he's been practicing law for 15 years, maybe he needs 15 more," Clayton said. "But, he probably shouldn't have said that but I don't know. Seems to be a nice young man. He knows the evidence."
Clayton said the case remains open, but without Miller's testimony, there is not enough evidence to move forward.
"I was totally shocked at that lawyer," Clayton said. "He knows the facts. That lady and that prisoner had sex. There's not a question of that at all. The rape kit was of no moment. Sex took place. The issue is was it consensual."
Clayton said his office takes cases of rape, murder, and anything that happens to children seriously. But, the mere allegation that someone makes that they were raped is not enough to convict, according to Clayton.
"I've seen the evidence, and the grand jury has seen the evidence," Clayton said. "What I heard on your show does not comport with the evidence."
An arrest affidavit obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed numerous recorded phone calls between an inmate named Drevon James and a woman they believe is Miller. On several instances, the warrant states the inmate was recorded talking to the woman about things that were happening in Miller's life.
She got a ticket for speeding that matched a recorded phone call with a woman talking about a ticket to the inmate. The inmate also talked about having her take a Plan B pill after video cameras captured James and Deshunta Miller going into a bathroom for 40 minutes. The warrant also states a woman mentioning her birthday on the phone to the inmate which matched Miller's birthday, April 27, 1999.
"There was another inmate that my client did speak to on the phone, but nothing inappropriate as far as a sexual relationship," Turner said.
Clayton said the case will remain open, and the grand jury is willing to hear what she has to say.