The woman who is a material witness in the ongoing investigation of Lafayette Police Maj. Glen Dartez, first identified by The Independent Weekly in last week’s cover story
and known at the time only as Debbie, was interviewed Friday by KLFY TV10’s Chuck Huebner. In the exclusive TV interview, Debbie Richard confirmed that on June 11 Dartez turned down William Phillips Jr.’s request to help his girlfriend, Montie Martie, who died the following day. Though he had been fighting with her on the afternoon of June 11, Phillips has maintained that he tried to help Martie, whom he thought had slipped into a diabetic coma.
Dartez’s phone records, obtained by The Independent Weekly
, reveal that he placed four phone calls from his cell phone to Richard's cell phone number on June 11, the first at 8:13 p.m. and the last at 11:09 p.m.
Richard told the TV station Dartez arrived at 202 Wilcox St., where Phillips lived with his girlfriend, Montie Martie, between 9 and 9:30 p.m. She said Phillips spotted Dartez’s unmarked police vehicle and asked the 34-year veteran if he were a police officer. When Dartez confirmed that he was but said he was off-duty, she says Phillips told him, “My girl is sick” and asked for help. She remembers Phillips mentioning something about Martie having diabetes and asking Dartez to call an ambulance. Dartez, according to Richard, told Phillips to leave him alone. “Maj. Dartez just told him to go away and didn’t even respond to helping him,” she told Huebner.
Richard, who claims Dartez is just a friend she has been knowing for a long time, says the veteran police officer was on the scene trying to convince her to leave with him. “I think he had kind of started liking me, but like I told him I don’t want a relationship with him,” she told the station. “He’s claimed things that I’m his girlfriend, but I don’t want to be his girlfriend.”
Dartez’s final call to Richard that night was placed at 11:09 p.m., about 20 minutes before the affidavit for William Phillips Jr.’s arrest indicates he called Acadian Ambulance for help, claiming a diabetic emergency. Phillips and Martie had several physical altercations the afternoon of June 11, and she died the following day of blunt force trauma to the head. Phillips is charged with second degree murder.
View TV10’s interview with Richard here
.The Independent Weekly
was unable to reach Richard on her cell phone. What the phone records from the Lafayette Police Department also reveal is that Dartez called Richard back on her cell phone the following Monday, June 14, and she returned the cell phone call, two days after Montie Martie died. Police phone records also reveal that Dartez tried to reach Richard from his office phone four times that Monday; the two appear to have talked on his office phone only once on the 14th. Those phone calls further bring into question whether Dartez compromised the police department’s murder investigation — and leave unanswered if his friends in the department were complicit in his actions.
Though Martie died on June 12, an internal affairs investigation into Dartez’s presence on the scene and potential role in the subsequent murder investigation was not ordered by Police Chief Jim Craft until two months later. Since that time, the Louisiana State Police has launched its own investigation, which will be independent of the IA inquiry, and Craft has turned over the results of the IA investigation to District Attorney Mike Harson for further investigation and potential criminal charges.
Inexplicably, 57-year-old Dartez, who was in charge of the department’s criminal investigations division, was not placed on administrative leave until last week and is expected to announce his retirement shortly. He is one of only three majors in the department, making him among the three highest ranking officials under the chief.
Whether on or off duty, police officers are obligated to respond, and failure to do so constitutes a departmental violation and criminal offense under the malfeasance in office statute. Investigation into the latter offense is the reason the matter was turned over to DA Mike Harson, according to Craft. Malfeasance in office, or official misconduct, is the commission of an unlawful act, done in an official capacity, which affects the performance of official duties.