Castle hearing motion to recuse Clause in Rivault case
The Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s office told The IND that District Judge Marilyn Castle will hear the state’s motion to recuse fellow Judge Herman Clause from the Seth Fontenot case.
Fontenot, 18, is charged in the senseless Feb. 10 early morning shooting that left 15-year-old St. Thomas More student Austin Rivault dead. Two of Rivault’s 15-year-old friends, Cole Kelley of Teurlings Catholic and William Bellamy of STM, were also shot. The incident took place about 1:45 a.m. in the 100 block of Green Meadow Road, located in the Bellevue Plantation subdivision south of the Mall of Acadiana. Fontenot, who lives in the 100 block of Green Meadow Road, faces a first-degree murder count and two counts of attempted first degree murder.
All three teens were in a truck driving down Green Meadow Road when they were shot; Rivault was a passenger, but it’s unclear which of the other two teens was driving. Fontenot told police he wanted to scare the teens and did not intend to kill anyone.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Garber argues in the filing that Clause has shown potential bias in the case. Garber says Clause disclosed in chambers and open court that he has known Kelley’s mother, Cherie Guilbeau Kelley, since she was a child and also previously represented her father, Paul Guilbeau, as his attorney. Garber also says Clause fills his medication at a pharmacy owned by Cherie Kelley. He stipulated that Clause has said he does not recall having had direct contact with Cherie Kelley in more than 20 years.
Additionally, according to Garber's filing, Clause disclosed that he attends church services at the same place of worship as Fontenot's girlfriend.
Court records indicate that Clause signed an order today denying the motion to recuse.
Fontenot’s attorney, Tommy Guilbeau, called the state's action a stall tactic to keep his client in jail. The Wednesday hearing was supposed to be about reducing Fontenot’s bail.
KATC reported that 150 to 200 people showed up for the hearing and were not allowed to leave court once the proceedings began.
Bail is set at $500,000 for each attempted first-degree murder count; there is no bail for first-degree murder. In arguing for a reduction in bail, Guilbeau says there is no evidence his client intended to harm anyone.
After recovering three spent casings in the yard of Fontenot’s residence on Feb. 10, Lafayette Police arrested him at his workplace, Another Broken Egg in River Ranch, just before noon that day. They found a Beretta semiautomatic pistol in his 2007 Chevy truck.
Fontenot admitted the teens were fleeing in their vehicle when he fired three shots.
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.