A LAFAYETTE PARISH GRAND JURY YESTERDAY INDICTED CITY MARSHAL BRIAN POPE ON SEVEN COUNTS OF MALFEASANCE IN OFFICE. LATER THIS MONTH, POPE IS GOING TO TRIAL ON FIVE OTHER MALFEASANCE CHARGES AND TWO COUNTS OF PERJURY. IT’S NOT CLEAR WHY HE WAS CHARGED BUT THE ADVOCATE SAYS THEY APPEAR TO BE RELATED TO POPE’S DOCUMENTED HABIT OF POCKETING REVENUE FROM COURT FEES. IN JANUARY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY KEITH STUTES ASKED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE FOR AN OPINION ON THAT PRACTICE AND THEY SAID THE MONEY COULD ONLY BE USED FOR OFFICE EXPENSES.
NINE PEOPLE, WHO WERE ALLEGEDLY PART OF A COCAINE AND METH DISTRIBUTION RING IN CALCASIEU AND BEAUREGARD PARISHES, HAVE BEEN INDICTED. FIVE OF THE NINE WERE FROM SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA WHILE THE OTHER FOUR ARE CUBAN NATIONALS. DAVID JOSEPH, THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, SAYS THE RING DISTRIBUTED COCAINE AND METHAMPHETAMINE BETWEEN JUNE OF 2017 AND JULY OF THIS YEAR. HE SAYS THAT SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS WAS SEIZED AS WELL AS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF TRUCKS, MOTORCYCLES, A-T-V’S AND BOATS THAT WERE PURCHASED WITH DRUG PROCEEDS.
A 16-YEAR-OLD BOY AND A 20-YEAR-OLD MAN WERE ARRESTED THIS WEEK FOR GETTING INTO A SHOOTOUT IN VILLE PLATTE MONDAY. THE TEENAGER WAS WALKING IN THE STREET WHEN HE EXCHANGED SHOTS WITH TWENTY-YEAR-OLD DEQUANDRAY THOMAS, WHO WAS IN A VEHICLE WITH A WOMAN AND A ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD. NO ONE WAS INJURED, BUT MULTIPLE BULLET HOLES WERE FOUND ON THE VEHICLE. THE TEENAGER, WHO WAS FOUND BY POLICE WITH A GUN IN THE FRONT POCKET OF HIS PANTS, WAS ARRESTED TUESDAY ON MULTIPLE CHARGES INCLUDING THREE COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED FIRST DEGREE MURDER, WHILE THOMAS WAS ARRESTED THE FOLLOWING DAY.
NINE FORMER U-L LAFAYETTE SOFTBALL PLAYERS HAVE FILED A DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY. THEY MAINTAIN THAT U-L VIOLATED TITLE NINE REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT PROPERLY MAINTAIN THE SOFTBALL FIELD, HIRE ADEQUTE MEDICAL TRAINING STAFF AND PROVIDE OTHER RESOURCES THAT WERE ON PAR WITH WHAT THE MEN’S TEAMS RECEIVED. THEY ALSO ALLEGE THEY FACED RETALIATION FOR SUPPORTING FORMER COACH MICHAEL LOTIEF, WHO THEY BELIEVE WAS FIRED FOR SPEAKING UP ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY’S TREATMENT OF THE TEAM. TWO PLAYERS SAY THAT UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT JOSEPH SAVOIE INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHED THEM WHILE GIVING THEM A HUG, AND OTHERS SAY THEY WERE VICTIMS OF RACIAL SLURS AND SEXUAL HARRASMENT BY TEAMMATES.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has upheld a man’s conviction of aggravated rape in a decades-old case. The American Press reports 42-year-old Jonathan Jacito Frank was convicted in 2014 of raping a Lake Charles woman at knifepoint in her apartment in 1994. He was sentenced then to life in prison and has since exhausted his appeals. His appeals have been repeatedly denied by judges who argue the case centered on DNA evidence that proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A MELVILLE WOMAN AND HER ADULT SON WERE ARRESTED FOR THEIR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN A THEFT RING. 32-YEAR-OLD JARROD BEARD WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF STOLEN THINGS MORE THAN A THOUSAND DOLLARS, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND DISTURBING THE PEACE WHILE HIS MOM, 52-YEAR-OLD TAMMY BEARD WAS CHARGED WITH AIDING IN THE THEFT OF PROPERTY. MELVILLE POLICE CHIEF ANTHONY MOREAU SAYS THE TWO HAD BEEN ARRESTED EARLIER THIS YEAR IN CONNECTION TO A STRING OF BURGLARIES REPORTED IN THE TOWN. HE SAYS MORE ARRESTS ARE EXPECTED.
A NEW VETERAN’S CEMETARY IS COMING TO JENNINGS THANKS TO A 7-POINT-2 MILLION DOLLAR FEDERAL GRANT. THE CEMETARY WILL BE ON A 12-POINT-6 ACRE SITE NEXT TO THE SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA VETERAN’S HOME. STATE SENATOR DAN BLADE MORRISH OF JENNINGS SAYS THE STATE WILL ALSO CONTRIBUTE ONE MILLION DOLLARS. THE HOME’S ADMINISTRATOR, MATT DUHON, SAYS THE CEMETARY WILL SERVE ALL OF SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA FROM THE TEXAS BORDER TO THE ATCHAFALAYA BASIN, AND NORTH TO LEESVILLE.
Louisiana has the sixth-highest adult obesity rate in the country, and the problem is growing. Those findings are included in a national report released Wednesday that shows Louisiana’s rate tops 36 percent, up from around 23 percent in 2000. The information comes from the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Louisiana’s problem is most acute in people aged 45 to 64, with an obesity rate reaching 43 percent.