Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Louisiana Attorney General takes Homer, La.-Bernard Monroe CaseClaiborne DA Recuses Office

Monday January 18, 2010
The eighth annual Martin Luther King Day Noon Ecumenical Observance will be noon Monday in the Ruston Civic Center.
This service follows the annual Martin Luther King Unity March and parade that will start at 11 a.m. at Louisiana Tech's Thomas Assembly Center, where marchers will meet at 10:45 a.m. The event is coordinated by the office of multicultural affairs at Louisiana Tech and produced by a committee of students, faculty, staff and local residents. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Carmelita Pope Freeman, regional community relations director for the U.S. Justice Department and an ordained elder in the CME 4th Episcopal District.

Grand Jury to hear Racially Charged Case| Homer investigation moves forward| "What other choice do we have"|
December 10, 2009
Monroe case sent to Attorney General
Stewart recuses office from shooting investigation Dees & Claiborne NAACP Reps


Claiborne Parish District Attorney Jonathan Stewart has recused his office from any further involvement in the February shooting death of 73-year-old Bernard Monroe Sr.

In a press conference held Wednesday, December 2, Stewart addressed the case, saying he was sending it to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, citing conflicts of interest for his office.

“After the order of recusal is signed, my office will have no further involvement with this case,” Stewart said, “other than to turn over the entire file and investigative materials to the attorney general, which will occur at some point in time next week.”

He cited two reasons for bowing out. One, he said, is that both former Homer police officers involved in the case – Timon Cox and Joseph Henry – are witnesses in pending criminal cases, which have not been resolved. Second, he said it would put his office and the officers in a “difficult position.”

Monroe was shot and killed by Cox on Friday, February 20, in the front yard of his home. According to police, the officers were pursuing Monroe’s son, Sean. The foot pursuit ended in Monroe’s front yard where Cox allegedly chased the younger Monroe out of the house.

Initial reports say Monroe was shot when he allegedly engaged the two officers with a loaded handgun. Witnesses, family members and friends say Monroe did not have a gun in his possession at the time of the shooting.

Stewart refused to answer any questions regarding what is in the final report turned in by the state police.

“I do not want to prejudice how the attorney general presents it, and I also do not want to prejudice anybody that might be on the grand jury,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the attorney general’s office will convene a grand jury from Claiborne Parish in January 2010 in order to make a decision on whether to pursue criminal charges or not.

“I have spoken with the attorney general several times over the last month, and he has agreed to give the case his personal attention,” the district attorney said.

In the wake of the shooting, the Monroe family hired Southern Poverty Law Center heavyweight Morris Dees to represent them.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit organization, and was founded as a small civil rights law firm in 1971, according to their website,

Along with Georgia Norton, Monroe’s sister-in-law, Dees made it clear that the Monroe family wants to see justice.

“This family has suffered greatly to have their loved one shot to death in their presence, inside their house, by a police officer who had absolutely no legal rights to be in this home,” Dees said. “We have been very patient – the lawyers, the family has been more than patient. At this point, we put our faith in the grand jury and this community, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King says, ‘The moral arc of justice is long, but it bends towards fairness in the end,’ and we hope that’s what we’ll see in this case.”

Asked if a civil suit would be filed, he said they would wait and see.

“We’re going to make that decision with the family and we’ll be discussing what they ought to do,” he said. “You can be assured that the facts of this case are going to come out, whether in a criminal case or in a civil case.”

Homer Town Attorney Jim Colvin said, “We’ll represent and defend the town as best we can, and we look forward to the conclusion to this investigation. As a citizen of this town and as town attorney, I look forward to the conclusion of this investigation. If there is a civil case, we’ll do our best to represent the town’s interest based on the facts revealed in the investigation to come.”

Norton spoke on behalf of the family, saying that Monroe’s widow is doing as well as can be expected.

“We’re okay,” she said, “and we’re hoping for the same thing that our attorney is – that this be fair and justice is fairly done.”

Terry Willis, communications director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), repeated her sentiments, saying he hopes the case is handled in a “very expeditious manner.”

“We need this resolved so that our community can begin to heal and that justice will be served no matter what the outcome,” Willis said.

When asked if he thought the case would go to trial, he said, “Hopefully not.”

And if the officers are cleared of wrong doing?

“We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it, no matter the outcome,” he responded. “This is a ‘catch 22’ for this community, for this department and our local government. We will have to settle and deal with the circumstances whatever they may be.”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Justears! Louisiana's Backwater

Jeffress | Ciolino | 7th JDC PDO | Original complaint | 14th JDC PDO suit re-opened | October 15, 2009
Gov. Jindal to visit Homer October 16

Governor Bobby Jindal will be in Homer, from 2 until 4 p.m. Friday, October 16 at a Louisiana Honor Medal Ceremony. All elected officials are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please call Brandi White at 927-3077 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), 263-7419 (Tuesday and Thursday) or cell phone at 422-2951.

DA to reach decision in Homer shooting soon


District Attorney Jonathan Stewart will possibly be releasing a decision on the officer-involved shooting death of Bernard Monroe Sr. soon.

That’s according to Stewart himself, who said he is still reviewing the Louisiana State Police report turned over to his office several weeks ago – but he insists there is no set deadline for his decision.

“I don’t have any deadline. We’re doing some investigating on our own as a follow up to the state police report,” Stewart said.

He said the state police report is very thorough, but there is just some follow up to do. He shares the concerns of many in the community and Monroe’s family, saying that he understands the gravity of the situation.

“All I want is the truth to come out,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for – the truth. The community has a lot at stake, and it has hurt enough.”

Stewart will have to decide whether to send the report to a grand jury to review the evidence and decide if the shooting was justified. Or, he could turn it over to the Louisiana Attorney General’s office to handle the case. The third option would be for Stewart to actually make a decision on whether it was justified or not.

Monroe was shot and killed by two Homer Police Officers on Friday, February 20, after he allegedly engaged the two with a loaded handgun.

According to police, Monroe was armed. His family and those close to him say he was not.

In the wake of his death, much controversy has surrounded the small town of Homer. The U.S. Justice Department has been working closely with community members in an effort to buff the town’s division over the incident. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has also conducted its own investigation into any alleged civil rights violations. The American Civil Liberties Union has also conducted its own investigation into racial profiling, to which it concluded that there were more arrests of blacks in the Town of Homer than whites.

In response, Homer Police Chief Russell Mills and his department are putting their numbers together as well to show more accuracy, he said. The Guardian-Journal, also, has requested the same public documents requested by the ACLU in order to conduct its own inquiry.

Since Monroe’s death, former officers Joseph Henry and Timon Cox have both resigned.

System broken; no fix in sight (10/18)
Posted October 18, 2009 at 12:30 am
Filed Under News


Defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors say the public defender system in state district court here is broken, but no one knows quite how to fix it.

The ideal solution would be to have the Legislature allocate more money to the state indigent defender system that oversees and helps fund the local Public Defenders Office.

In light of budget cuts looming over the state in all areas, the hope of attracting more funds for an agency perceived by the public to represent “criminals” is merely a pipe dream.

Mitch Bergeron, executive director of the local PDO, says he needs about 20 more attorneys to keep up with the demands coming from local courts and for those lawyers to be effective in representing clients.

The agency employs 11 attorneys. Three other lawyers have contracts to handle specific types of cases for the agency. The PDO also pays five so-called conflict attorneys randomly appointed when the agency, because of conflicts of interest, cannot ethically represent a defendant.

There used to be six conflict attorneys, Bergeron said, but one resigned recently. Contracts with some of the other conflict lawyers will not be renewed in the near future.

About 95 percent of the cases that come through local courts are assigned to the PDO because the defendants are too poor to hire their own lawyers, Bergeron said. Each of his felony attorneys now has about 500 cases assigned at any one time. Misdemeanor attorneys have about 700 cases each.

The guidelines of the National Advisory Commission for Defense Attorneys recommend no one public defender have more than 150 felony cases assigned per year and no more than 400 misdemeanor cases per attorney per year.

Because of his staff’s present caseload, Bergeron said there are ethical and constitutional issues coming into play.

A criminal defendant has the constitutional right to representation by an attorney.

“But,” Bergeron said, “that right goes beyond just having a warm body with a law degree standing with the defendant.”

Those accused of crimes are entitled by both the U.S. and Louisiana constitutions to effective assistance of counsel.

Higher courts have said “reasonable assistance of counsel means that a lawyer not only possesses adequate skill and knowledge, but also has time and resources to apply his skill and knowledge to (the) task of defending his individual clients.”

Bergeron said with the present caseload, his staff isn’t able to meet those requirements.

His office may not be in a position to receive any more cases. If that happens, the courts may have to implement another plan to use in naming lawyers to represent indigent defendants.

Jean Faria of the Louisiana Public Defender Board said Act 307 adopted during the 2007 regular session of the Legislature, created on paper a uniform statewide system that gives poor defendants their constitutionally mandated right to effective counsel and provided for additional funds to indigent defense.
Two years later, it is obvious that that legislation is not enough to solve the problems with the indigent defense system.

Faria called the problems “systemic.” She compared the criminal justice system to a three-legged stool with one leg being the courts, a second being the prosecution and the third the defense.

Presently the stool definitely cannot sit straight because the defense “leg” is shorter than the others.

Faria noted her office requested $46 million from the state to help local jurisdictions with indigent defense. She was given $27.8 million, which funds about 40 percent of the local PDOs. The remainder of their funds comes from fines and court costs, but those are not what they should be, either.

Meanwhile, the other legs of the stool remain on an even floor because of public funding and other means.

She pointed out that district attorney offices do not have such worries as rent or health insurance payments, because these are provided by state and/or local government agencies.

Bergeron’s office, on the other hand, pays about $150,000 in rent annually and the same amount for health insurance benefits for its employees.

Savings in those areas could provide at least two attorneys to the local public defender ranks, she said.

“This (the PDO) is as much for the community as that (the D.A.’s office) is,” Faria said. “And there is not even a thought, apparently, of the responsibility of the parish to say ‘Well, we’re providing free rent here. We need to provide free rent for these fellows.’ “

Faria said with the ethics issues now involved, the local PDO “is not in a position to continue to receive cases.”

That is a decision Bergeron must make, Faria said. The state board, she said, will assist the defenders in what they have to do to function ethically because “it’s a profession, and we’re talking about people’s lives, liberty and freedom.”

“If you convict the wrong person, the perpetrator is out there still,” Faria said.

“What could be worse than an innocent person going to prison because the lawyer does not have the time and the resources to do what needs to be done?”

Many of the judges here have been ordering defendants appointed to the PDO to pay a certain amount for legal services.

Some do pay, but, as Bergeron pointed out, “It is hard to ask those people for money when you’re trying to build up a relationship of trust with them so you can better represent them in court.

“And, we don’t have a whole lot of time to start off anyway, so you don’t want that whole relationship to be about money,” he said.

“Then people who should be coming in to talk to you (about their case) are avoiding you — and they were appointed to us anyway because they are indigent.”

Faria said the judges who are ordering such payments are well-intentioned to try to help with the financial situation of the office, but “if the collection agency for that is also the same agency that is rendering the service, it’s tough.”

Bergeron said there are systemic issues in the court system here that add to the problem.

For one, Division H has been moved to Family and Juvenile Court. So now six, rather than seven, divisions of the court are handling criminal matters.

Those six judge also have civil dockets, he said, so there are only a limited number of court dates when a particular judge is in criminal court.

“We just don’t have enough court days to satisfy this caseload.”

So what is the answer? How do you fix the broke and the broken PDO?

Bergeron has considered filing motions to declare his agency ineffective and violative of the rights of the clients it represents. Those types of motions are time-consuming and tedious and would only be a last-ditch effort.

First, Faria said, people have to come together.

She would like parties involved in the criminal justice system to sit down with the local legislative delegation and say “This is what it looks like here … this is the mess we are in and it’s going to take all of us good, well-intentioned people to sit together and figure out how we’re going to deal with this in Calcasieu.”

“Can you help us craft a solution?”

“The answer,” she said, “may be yes. The answer may be no. But the answer cannot be that the public defender clients suffer.”

“Business as usual in this extraordinary caseload just can’t go on.”

Man who claims brutality found not guilty in case against him
Civil rights activist to review alleged police misconduct, school system charges
Posted October 20th, 2009
A corrections officer has been found not guilty of charges stemming from an April incident in which he claimed he was unjustly pepper-sprayed and was the victim of multiple stun gun applications.
Meanwhile, a citizens’ meeting featuring civil rights personality the Rev. DeVes Toon of the National Action Network is scheduled in Eunice Thursday to air allegations of police misconduct.
Judge Lynette Feucht found Jernell Smith, Jr., 52, not guilty of interfering with the duties of a police officer and resisting an officer in a bench trial in City Court.
Smith, represented at trial by Opelousas attorney Jarvis Clairborne, was arrested April 23 after a late-night run-in with officers near Lloyd Street.
The officers - two city police officers and a sheriff’s deputy - were investigating a stabbing that had happened a few minutes earlier at another location
The next day, Smith alleged he was the subject of excessive force, used on him, he claimed, after he had identified himself as a corrections officer and told police he was trying to get to his house.
In addition to being the victim of pepper spraying and Taser use, he alleged he was subjected to verbal abuse during and after his arrest.
Toon, according to his organization, is supposed to appear at a 3 p.m. Thursday session at St. Luke Baptist Church to look into allegations such as Smith’s and those of Josh Andrus, who claimed he was also the object of excessive force during an arrest earlier in April.
The officer accused in that instance has since resigned and the case file of a State Police investigation into the incident is in the District Attorney’s Office.
Complaints against the police began to build about a year ago, when African Americans began claiming Officer A.J. Frank, who is black, was harassing them and unjustly issuing citations.
Internal investigation determined there was no foundation for the complaints.
One concern expressed by the citizens group - overcrowding in the city jail - is indisputable. It often has 50 or more inmates in a facility built for 43.
Toon’s office also said alleged “unfairness” in the parish school desegregation plan and in school employment practices will be aired.
The desegregation plan was ordered by federal district court, after input from the Department of Justice, the School Board and a special Bi-Racial Committee.
School system employment practices are monitored by the same federal court.

Civil rights leader visits Eunice
By Judy Bastien • • October 25, 2009
The Rev. DeVes Toon of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network met Thursday with Eunice community leaders at St. Luke Baptist Church in Eunice.Toon was in the city to hear residents' complaints of alleged misconduct on the part of the Eunice Police Department, as well as objections to some of the provisions of the recently implemented desegregation plan as it affects Eunice schools submitted by community activist Clifton Lemelle.
Toon plans to carry the complaints to the office of the attorney general in Washington, D.C., said George Fisher, one of the event's organizers.
About 25 citizens braved Thursday's severe weather to attend the meeting, which had been scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
They waited quietly in the church pews until Toon arrived at about 3:45 p.m. and was whisked into a closed-door meeting with organizers.
When the meeting began, sometime after 4 p.m., citizens were invited to come forward and present their own complaints.
At the end of the meeting, the topics of local enforcement and the desegregation plan were discussed.
Representatives of the Eunice Police Department were unavailable for comment.
When contacted, Superintendent of St. Landry Parish Schools Michael Nassif said he stands by previous statements made earlir on the subject of desegregation.
Nassif had previously pointed out that the desegregation plan, which had languished for more than 40 years, had finally been hammered out by a biracial committee and approved by the Department of Justice and federal Judge Tucker Melancon.
Fisher said that his group hopes to have the desegregation matter reopened by the Justice Department.

2008 Winter Advocate LACDL Faria Apellate Project

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reeling: Continued Infamy

Colfax police officer Indicted |
Homer, La. officers resign |
9 July 2009| Poverty Point Fraud Trial
|Racial tensions run high in Paris after charges dropped in murder case| Charges dismissed - Paris, Tx.| Louisiana:Ex-Iberville School Board Member arrested after protest| Second Homer Forum - US ATTY press release 052209

March marks N.O. teen's killing
'This is not acceptable. Every life is important'

At Baronne Street and Washington Avenue,Raphael mentioned the shooting nearby.

The Usual Suspects show up to cry foul in situations such as the following. However, the idea of a permeable mass-movement is beyond their grasp of reasoning. They do not understand and they never will.

But, this you must understand, Tonya Littlefeather is convicted and imprisoned, Michael Cobb is still in Angola & Mychal is still in the "pawnbrokers" shop! Torture in Our Own Backyard

This isn't the first instance of trouble at this facility. Oct 08 Alex Harris Story
Trio of convictions spark outcry

Written by Tiffany Flournoy
Friday, 24 April 2009

Concerns regarding cases of alleged injustices were expressed during an “urgent” community forum Wednesday at Mt. Zion CME Church, specifically those surrounding the Minden 3.

The Community Relations Service, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice and Civil Rights Investigator Irvin Robins were on hand to offer a listening ear.

The two-plus hour meeting, hosted by Concerned Citizens for Justice, touched a number of area judicial concerns for both Webster and Claiborne parishes. However, the session revolved around what some are calling the Minden 3 — Kelton Greenard of Minden, Arthur Henderson II of Cotton Valley and Anthony Combs of Homer.

In January, the trio was ordered to serve five years at hard labor in the Louisiana Department of Correction, with two years suspended after being found guilty in October 2008, of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile in the death of former Hope Youth Ranch resident 12-year-old Alex Harris.

“In this case, I had some terrible circumstances and what I found is discriminatory prosecution,” said Jena 6 Attorney Louis Scott, who was present during Wednesday’s meeting.

Scott said in regards to this particular case, many people had the same, similar or greater responsibilities as those who stood trial.

“Many people were closer to what happened than people convicted. Some were convicted and others were not,” Scott said. “This case says more to me about the prosecution than most anybody else. It (case) speaks for itself. One man treated one way and the next treated another way — a classic definition of discrimination.”

The Rev. David Brown, who was in attendance during the evening session, said the electrocution of justice didn’t need to see the shock on his face when he heard the words “guilty on all counts,” referring to the verdict of the Minden 3.

Brown said the purpose of the open session was not to point fingers at anyone, but to further point out the evidence that has already been filed — all 62 pieces.

“Ninety-two percent of the pieces show three innocent young men in a way that is so innocent, I find it hard to just sit here,” Brown said. “If they look at the appeal, I believe in my heart, justice will be wearing the blindfold.”

The case is currently under appeal at the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport, where it will be reviewed by three judges. These judges will be responsible for deciding whether there is sufficient evidence for a finding of guilt. They will also make determinations regarding technical issues, such as whether the hearsay testimony by a Louisiana State Trooper could have been used in court.

Greenard and Henderson are currently serving time at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center and Combs at David Wade Correctional Center. NW-La.News

Hope Youth Ranch Trial

Three Hope Youth Ranch employees were found guilty October 15 of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile in connection to the death of facility resident Alex Harris.

Following three days of testimony, District Court Judge Parker Self found former HYR direct care workers Kelton Greenard of Minden, Arthur Henderson II of Cotton Valley and Anthony Combs of Homer guilty of the above charges in relation to the 12-year-old’s death.

Throughout the trial, testimony revealed that on Sept. 13, 2005 Harris, a resident of the residential treatment facility for boys, was ordered to serve in-school suspension — a form of punishment that involves performing outdoor chores. During the morning hours Harris, along with four to five other boys, were ordered to mow grass. Afterwards, the boys were made to run a pipeline – an activity not authorized by the facility.

Testimony revealed that during the run, Harris began to experience symptoms of environmental hyperthermia — heat stroke. When Harris attempted to get water, two other residents prevented him from doing so.

Harris’ symptoms worsened throughout the day as no staff or those in supervisory positions offered the boy any assistance. The events of that day, and the lack of intervention, led to the young boy’s death.

On the day in question, Greenard and Combs were in charge of the afternoon work detail. The third defendant, Henderson, visited the work site with Supervisor Willis Doyle.

Self said testimony presented during the trial convinced him that Harris was laid in the sun on the day of his death and that the defendants took no action on the boy’s behalf.

Self ordered a pre-sentence investigation with sentencing to be held December 15; however, as the pre-sentence investigation was not complete on that date, sentencing was postponed until Jan. 26, 2008.


Three sentenced in HYR death

Three men convicted of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile were sentenced Monday.

Anthony Combs of Homer, Kelton Greenard of Minden and Arthur Henderson II of Cotton Valley were all sentenced to five years at hard labor on each count, all but three years suspended in the death of 12-year-old Alex Harris, a resident of Hope Youth Ranch. The sentences are to run concurrent.

The three defendants were given credit for time served. Once released from prison, they will be under active supervised probation for two years and each will pay a $1,500 fine plus court costs. These must be paid within their first year of probation.

Judge Parker Self also assigned 400 hours each of community service.

“I’ve heard no remorse and I’m going to make you put someone else above yourself,” said the judge, who handed down a guilty verdict in a trial by judge in October 2008.

All three stood before the judge with heads bowed.

On September 13, 2005, Harris was placed in in-school suspension, where he and a group of boys were taken on a disciplinary run and various work assignments. According to testimony at the trial, Harris began to lag behind the other boys and he fell to the ground. He was carried by some of the other boys, also residents at the ranch, until he vomited. A series of events followed which led to his death as a result of hyperthermia, otherwise known as heatstroke.

State Prosecutor Jack Montgomery said he felt the family was satisfied with the outcome.

“The family, I believe that they were satisfied with the sentence,” Montgomery said. “The grandfather made a victim’s statement and then he stayed because he wanted to see the three taken out of the courtroom.”

Before the sentence was handed down, the victim’s family was given an opportunity to make a statement. Charles Allen, grandfather of the victim, stood before the judge and spoke for his family – his wife Judy, and mother of the victim, Amber Harris.

“It’s impossible to put into words how this has affected my family,” he said. r would not wish this on anyone. Alex was far from perfect, otherwise he would not have been at Hope Youth Ranch, but he certainly didn’t deserve to be treated as he was. These children were in your care and you dropped the ball. You took so much from Alex – a chance to grow up and have a family of his own.”

After hearing a motion from the defense stating that the evidence presented in the pre-sentencing investigation were the same for both charges – negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile – Self weighed their defense. The defense alleged that these charges were double jeopardy.

Montgomery said he didn’t feel there was anything new, so the state stands by its case.

“If the sentence runs concurrent, then that will take away any motion of double jeopardy,” Montgomery said.

The judge agreed and the motion was denied.

The three defendants were given an opportunity to speak before sentencing, but all three declined.

Self said he’d spent a long time weighing the facts of the case, taking emotion and empathy out of the scenario. He said he may not make the victim’s family happy or the prosecutors happy, but he had to look at everything.

“The court takes very seriously its role in this matter. I had to look at the totality of the circumstances,” Self said. “We’re not just looking at acts, but omissions. I can’t change the events of that day, and I can’t bring Alex back.”

It was said in open court that each defendant would appeal the sentencing, and they each requested and received a $100,000 bond on each count until their appellate delays have run. According to Montgomery, the defendants are entitled to the bond after conviction at the court’s discretion. As of press time, all three defendants were incarcerated at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center in Minden.

Once the sentence was handed down, Combs fainted in the courtroom. An ambulance was called, but it was not clear whether he was taken to a hospital.
Scroll to Story/after click

MINDEN -- Eight people who were indicted Monday morning by a Webster grand jury in the death of a 12-year-old boy last fall at a Christian-based nonprofit juvenile facility are free on bonds of $2,500 each posted by the shelter.

The seven employees and an ex-employee of Hope Youth Ranch, 10 miles north of Minden, turned themselves in to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center on Monday afternoon.

Identified in separate sealed bills of indictment and charged with one count of negligent homicide are Troy Hamilton, 31, of the 1500 block of Memphis Street, Homer; Willis Doyle, 48, of the 500 block of New Friendship Road, Castor; Anthony L. Combs, 38, of the 1700 block of West California Street, Ruston; Arthur G. Henderson II, 24, of the 200 block of Greenard Road, Cotton Valley; Kelton Greenard, 26, of the 1100 block of West Street, Minden; Tasha G. Jackson, 29, of the 1000 block of Marigia Drive, Haynesville; Marcus D. Jones, 24, of the 500 block of New Friendship Road, Castor; and Jeremy Blanks, 22, of the 400 block of Hillside, Minden.

Negligent homicide carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin sought the indictments against the eight, whom he described as direct care workers, not teachers, because he believed they intentionally denied care to Alex Harris[HYR] during a disciplinary run in September.

An autopsy indicates Harris, of Haughton, died of dehydration and trauma to the head following a punishment run at the ranch. He reportedly was denied water during the run and was dropped on the ground when an older boy picked him up after Harris had collapsed.

Doug Pierrelee, spokesman for state police Troop G, said at one point during Harris' punishment, the eight employees locked themselves in an air-conditioned truck to keep Harris from getting inside.

Common sense and the "power of one's own conscious" should be the guide in situations where "training has failed to prepare you," Pierrelee said.

"If care of others is not your genuine motivation, then you should be responsible enough to remain unemployed," he said.

"These eight people missed the opportunity to save a 12-year-old child who was begging for his life."

The state police conducted the investigation because of a conflict of interest involving the Webster Parish sheriff's office. Sheriff's deputies routinely provide security at the site, and Chief Deputy Bobby Igo Jr. is on the governing board and serves as vice president.

Roy Martinez, the shelter's director, could not be reached at the shelter or at his residence late Monday afternoon. Earlier this month, however, Martinez said the facility's insurance company and lawyers had advised him not to discuss the case. He said Harris' death was the first at the ranch, and in a printed statement he said the staff was "heartbroken and full of grief" over Harris' death.

The nonprofit Hope Youth Ranch receives state funding because the juveniles in its care are either foster children or have been sent there by state juvenile authorities.

Marvin did not seek indictments against the ranch's corporation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Full Court Press:Obama on the Move

As Obama prepares to go to Europe. Meeting with
the G20 in London, the American ruling-class may
be attempting a coup.

April 26 Louisiana Sovereignty Resolution | US Northern Command Activates Civil Unrest Readiness | Possible Right Wing Threat 2mb/pdf | The Patriotic Resistance | Obama-Mexico-Flu Who knew what when?! | Dec '08 Washington Post Domestic Troop Deployment. |
Some of the anti-Obama groups say they will actively engage troops, when these "rights" are violated.

The opposition to President Barack Hussein Obama is at full tilt and the pressure-push by the Republican Party & its Conservative alliances is at FULL COURT-PRESS.

Judd Gregg in his domain -John Boehner in his.
The U. S. House Minority Leader was in Baton Rouge with U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who was Obama's second pick for the commerce job and dropped out days later, delivered the GOP's response address today, saying that Obama's budget proposal "spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much."

Gregg, a deficit hawk who is the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said Obama's budget would triple the national debt over the next 10 years.

The address was remarkable in that it came from a man who, just seven weeks ago, stood at Obama's side and accepted a Cabinet post in the new Democratic administration. Gregg was closely observed with the smirkish look given as he stepped away from his cabinet post acceptance.

In the meanwhile Louisiana Democratic leader Chris Whittington was under-attack in a state democratic party resolutions meeting, in which New Orleans Rep. Karen Carter Petterson pushed the issue.

Leadership is alledged to have possibly given over the state to the Republicans, evidenced by the lack of a viable democratic opponent in place, against Senator David Vitter.

Alexia Thompson of Lafayette said the state party's poor showing in the 2008 elections was not one person's fault.
"We played recess," she said. "We have allowed the Republicans to come into the state and take over. We shouldn't be talking about who we should run (in 2010 against U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.); we should already have a candidate."

Boehner visits BR, pitches GOP budget By SONIA SMITH
Advocate staff writer
Published: Mar 29, 2009

U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner met with Baton Rouge business leaders Saturday to hear their concerns about the economy, three days after he outlined his party’s alternative plan for economic recovery.

Boehner, R-Ohio, railed against President Barack Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget at a news conference at the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, Saturday afternoon, saying it would “hurt jobs and hurt our economy.”

“It spends too much, it raises too much in the way of taxes and borrows too much from our kids and grandkids,” Boehner said of the Democrats’ budget.

Boehner unveiled an 18-page pamphlet titled “Republican Road to Recovery” at a news conference in Washington on Thursday.

Many in the Obama administration, including Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and White House Budget Director Peter Orszag have scoffed at the pamphlet for its lack of numbers and details.

“It’s interesting to have a budget that doesn’t contain any numbers,” Gibbs said at the White House news briefing on Thursday.

Boehner said Saturday that next week, Republicans would be laying out the details of their budget, which focuses on cutting government spending, lowering taxes and halting bailouts of financial companies.

“It clearly will let families and small businesses keep more of what they earn,” he said. “We’ll make sure the federal budget isn’t growing faster than the family budget.”

The plan’s focus on energy from a number of sources — green, oil and gas and nuclear — would help create jobs in Louisiana, he said.

Boehner admitted that, given the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the Republicans’ proposal has little chance of success.

“I’ll never give up,” he said. “We don’t have near enough votes, but our job is to communicate with the American people about (the Democrats’) proposal and to communicate our better solution.”

Boehner would not go into detail on what he discussed in the meeting with Cassidy, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, James Riley of NAI/Latter & Blum and Lester McLin, owner of the Livingston based engineering and surveying company, McLin & Associates.

“People are mostly concerned that the spending spree that Washington is on is not sustainable,” Boehner said. “This giant debt is going to cause our economy to grow more slowly.”

McLin said he asked Boehner to do everything in his power to keep taxes down.

“He’s got a tough battle up there,” he said.

Boehner, who traveled to Lafayette following the meeting in Cassidy’s office, said he was in New Orleans on Friday night.

The Associated Press reported that Boehner also was attending a fundraiser for Cassidy.
GOP-Road to Recovery? Yeah! We all know about recovery in Louisiana! ICF-LRA. Road home. Are we there yet!