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Court hearing pushed back after sheriff a no-show

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UPDATE: On May 31, 2019, Judge Don Johnson excused State Police Colonel Kevin Reeves from having to testify after his attorney showed up. An East Baton Rouge Deputy testified that warrants that are entered into their system can be accessed by any law enforcement agency.

The hearing was continued when Sheriff Mike Cazes, Zack Simmers and Kenneth Young did not show up. The Sheriff’s Office told officials in East Baton Rouge Parish that they never received them. New subpoenas were issued today to appear in court on June 14, 2019.


BATON ROUGE- The WBRZ Investigative Unit has learned a 19th Judicial District Court judge wants to hear from West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves and a number of other officials over why a bench warrant the judge issued was not enforced.

On April 5, 2019, West Baton Rouge Deputy Alberto Casco was driving a department vehicle with a suspended license in Port Allen when he hit and killed Clyde Robertson of Plaquemine. Robertson was walking in the street when the vehicle driven by Casco hit him on LA 1. The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned - and was first to report - Casco was driving on a suspended license and also had an active arrest warrant issued months earlier on November 13, 2018.

Judge Don Johnson issued the warrant when Casco did not show up for a traffic court hearing in Johnson's 19th Judicial District Court back in November.

Casco was not arrested after the crash and was only issued a ticket days later following reports by WBRZ.  The ticket was for driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash.       

Apparently annoyed by what he saw on WBRZ in multiple reports by Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto,  the judge made a rare move to subpoena the high-ranking law enforcement officials.  Johnson's order filed Thursday and obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit demands the law agencies appear in court soon and explain why the bench warrant he issued was not executed.

Johnson wrote in court documents, "such a hearing is necessary to promote the highest level of public trust and confidence in the 19th Judicial District Traffic Court, its Traffic Department and local and state-level law enforcement agencies."

WBRZ uncovered the warrant issued when Casco skipped court in November mysteriously disappeared and Casco was issued a new court date in the warrant's place.

Johnson noted that Casco's pulled warrant, "undermines the presumptive trustworthy authorities; and therefore testimony and evidence should be collected at a hearing which can provide clarity, refute, offset, negate, protect and safeguard against misinformation or unwarranted public reporting which potentially threatens procedural fairness, civic trust and confidence in the Court, or to confirm and validate such speculation."

The court issued subpoenas to West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves, Kenneth Young of West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Zack Simmers of West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and Kenneth Huber with the East Baton Rouge Parish Warrants Division.

Johnson is also perplexed why the arrest warrant was missing from a specialized database of names listing those who have an active arrest warrant attached to their name at any given time.  Johnson wrote he wants to know why Casco's warrant did not appear in the statewide or the federal NCIC database.

The hearing on the issue has been set for May 31, 2019.


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