[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect new information from Assistant District Attorney Roger Hamilton.]
An arrest warrant was issued for Busted in Acadiana mastermind Chris Hebert, who was a no-show for his criminal trial Monday morning, because he was hospitalized over the weekend for unknown reasons, according to his attorney. The judge, however, seemed in the dark about why the defendant and his attorney were not in court.
Hebert, 39, faces one count of stalking and two counts of cyber-stalking for allegedly threatening a female victim, Erica Roberie, several times over the phone and Internet. He was arrested in 2011 and faces up to two years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines if convicted. Read more here.
When the case came up on this morning’s criminal docket in the 15th Judicial District Court, both Hebert and his lawyer, Stephen Spring II (read more about him here), were absent. During this morning’s proceedings, court officials stated no motion had been filed by Spring for a continuance of Hebert’s criminal trial, prompting District Judge Glennon Everett to issue a warrant for Hebert's arrest.
Hebert has maintained his innocence, and has even filed a civil lawsuit alleging a conspiracy involving the Lafayette Police Department and the woman he allegedly victimized.
Spring, in an emailed response, says Hebert was "hospitalized last night," and claims the judge and prosecutor were notified of his client's condition prior to this morning's proceedings. The judge, however, gave no indication that he had been notified of Hebert's apparent medical condition.
Spring also says attorney Christopher Alexander has enrolled as co-counsel in the case and maintains that a motion for continuance was filed with the Clerk of Court's office Tuesday, five days before his client went to a local hospital. Spring did not say why he sought the continuance last week.
The IND was able to confirm that Hebert is not a patient today at Our Lady of Lourdes or either of LGMC's two local facilities.
In a telephone interview late Monday afternoon, Assistant District Attorney Roger Hamilton tells The IND that Hebert has a 10 day window to show up in court and accept his trial date, which is tentatively set for Sept. 3. That gives Hebert until next week, with his 10-day deadline expiring Friday, July 19."If he doesn't show up and accept his trial date within the 10 days, then the warrant for his arrest will become active," says Hamilton.