Alleged Child Predator Was Just Performing His Own Personal Investigation Wednesday, Aug 1 2007 

Attorneys can subscribe to a service called Courthouse News Service, which reports on new lawsuits filed in particular courts. Below is a dandy suit evidently filed pro se (without a lawyer) by Henry Harris, 34, 36081 La. 1036, Holden, Louisiana.

A prison guard at Angola, Harris claims he was wrongfully arrested as an alleged child predator. He says that when he drove to the house of the woman he met online, he did so BECAUSE she said she was fifteen and he was merely investigating whether or not she was being abused or legally neglected. OK. Watch for Congressman Bill Jefferson to adopt a similar “personal sting operation” strategy to explain the cold cash in his freezer.

Henry Harris v. Hammond City; Roddy Devall, Police Chief; Jeanine Cruz, Police Detective; Wayne Scivicque, Police Sergeant; Melissa Peri, Former Hammond Police Officer; Jimmy Travis, Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Deputy; Charles Foti, Attorney General; Louisiana Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office; all unknown members of and participants in the Hammond City Police’s internet sting operation, “Operation Safenet”
7/30/2007 07-cv-03890
(New Orleans)

Lawsuit for wrongful arrest. Because the plaintiff, a guard at Angola, is aware of the mandatory reporter laws, which stipulate that a person who has knowledge of child abuse or neglect legally has to report the abuse, he went to Hammond to investigate whether a woman he met in an online chat room was actually 15, as she reported being. When he got to where the woman said she lived, he was arrested. Paid download

Henry Harris
Pro se

 

Great Counterfeiters in LSU History? Tuesday, Jan 9 2007 

Rumors are rampant in Baton Rouge and on the internet that LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux has been implicated in a credit card and counterfeiting ring and kicked off the team.

If true, and we hope it is not – the story has not yet been run by the mainstream media – Perrilloux, a superstar prep player at East St. John who was arguably the top quarterback of the 2005 recruiting class, would join Billy Cannon as one of the great counterfeiters in LSU history. After winning the Heisman Trophy and becoming an orthodontist, of course, Cannon’s penchant counterfeiting led him to serve time in the federal pen.

Developing . . .

ACLU Report Rips Sheriff Gusman over Katrina Thursday, Aug 10 2006 

coveralt.jpgAlthough it comes too late to help the Gerald DeSalvo for Criminal Sheriff campaign, the ACLU has issued a blistering report on the preparation, response, and reaction of Sheriff Gusman before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. Anyone concerned that the liberal ACLU would pull punches in a report critical of an African-American sheriff has nothing to fear; it absolutely lambasts him.

In a 145-page report entitled “Abandoned & Abused,” released after an 11-month investigation involving hundreds of interviews and written accounts, the ACLU concludes Sheriff Gusman failed to make adequate emergency preparations, abandoned both his deputies and the prisoners in deplorable conditions, and pathologically lied about it to win re-election. It closes by urging the Justice Department to commence a federal investigation into civil rights violations.

Loyal readers may recall, The Weathers Report broke the story back in March that Sheriff Gusman had checked himself into the honeymoon suite in a hotel in Gray, Louisiana in the midst of the post-Katrina chaos. The ACLU report is short on details of the desertion, merely discussing the mass resignations of deputies after being “[a]bandoned [b]y [t]he [s]heriff.” It does, however, contain an account by Brady Richard, formerly a OPP medical supply officer, who recalls a horrific stint at the jail before being transported by bus, along with other employees, to the Lions Club Hall in Gray, Louisiana. There, Sheriff Gusman apparently gave a bizarre speech, admonished the employees to behave, and left without thanking them, adding that he wasn’t “sure what you’ll eat tonight but we’ll try to get something hot for you tomorrow.” According to Mr. Richard, these events occurred on Friday the 2nd. Indeed, the same night Sheriff Gusman went honeymooning near Houma.

Sheriff Gusman’s term expires in 2010, when the Orleans Parish criminal sheriff and civil sheriff positions will be consolidated, like every other parish in the state.

Pro Bono Lawyers Needed to Keep Criminals Behind Bars Friday, Aug 4 2006 

080306_tremearrest.jpgWith a criminal district judge threatening to release poor defendants due to a post-Katrina lack of funding for the public defender’s office, the search is on for volunteer lawyers to pick up the slack.

The Louisiana State Bar Association sent out a call this week to all Louisiana lawyers, even those who handle business, personal injury, and domestic matters: Volunteer to represent a criminal! “Without adequate and indigent representation for defendants,” says LSBA communications director Brooke Monoco, “due process rights are at risk and the state may be forced to release many defendants.”

So, you’re a lawyer but don’t know the difference between an arraignment and a preliminary hearing? You quit watching The Practice when Bobby Donnell left the firm? Not a problem. The bar is offering a free program to “refresh” civil practitioners on criminal law.

Fellow counselors, we owe it to the community to volunteer. Without our pro bono efforts, these criminals will be back on the streets. If we do represent them, there’s at least a chance these criminals will stay in jail. Second thought, given most civil lawyers’ inexperience with the criminal justice system, there’s a very good chance of that. So don’t do it for the criminals; do it for a safer New Orleans!

Who will take Raymond Amison, 18, above, recently arrested for quadruple-murder? (By the way, it looks from his Astros baseball cap that he’s spent some time in Texas. Thanks again, Houston.)

________

Louisiana Attorneys,

New Orleans needs your help. Because the primary source of funds to support the Indigent Defender Board is sorely under fuded this year and unable to provide the necessary level of representation to the estimated 3,600 detainees awaiting trial in Criminal District Court. Additional money may be forthcoming from the state, but the crisis is immediate. Without adequate indigent representation for defendants, due process rights are at risk and the state may be forced to release many defendants.

Please consider volunteering to represent a criminal defendant on a pro bono basis. Not sure you know enough about criminal procedure and substantive criminal procedure and substantive law to undertake criminal defense? The New Orleans Bar Association will offer a free 4.66 CLE program to refresh civil practitioners on criminal law Friday August 4. Learn tips from experienced criminal defense lawyers and law school professors. And at the end of the day, you can sign up for an appointment to OIDP. There is no obligation to sign up for an appointment, but if you do, OIDP will honor any requests for appointment to “less” serious cases for those who request it.

Earn CLE hours at no charge while learning skills to help maintain the rule of law in New Orleans. For more information go to LINK. To register for the CLE please contact pcotogno@neorleansbar.org.

If you have experience in criminal law and would like to volunteer as a criminal pro bono attorney please call Brooke Monaco at 504.619.0118 or bmonaco@lsba.org

Thank you for your consideration.

Brooke Monaco, Communications Director, Louisiana State Bar Association

Thanks Houston Thursday, Jun 22 2006 

nola_cheek_evl_333.jpgWhen Houston's crime rate spiked after Hurricane Katrina, the city was quick to blame the violence on displaced New Orleanians. Between September and February, Katrina evacuees were accused of being involved in 26 slayings, or nearly 17 percent of all homicides.

Houston's mayor responded by requesting $6.5 million in aid from FEMA, apparently to help its police department patrol the Katrina "hot spots." A tough guy spokesman for the Houston Police Department spouted off that they were "going to relocate these men from apartments in Houston to a prison in Texas."

Yet the Houston police department was no where to be found last week when a Houston man, John Lee Cheek, 31, arrived in Louisiana and killed (allegedly) a St. John the Baptish Parish Sheriff's officer and crashed his car (allegedly) during a police chase, and ran into an elderly man's home and held him hostage (allegedly) before finally surrendering. Although Cheek was already suspected in several Texas thefts, the Houston police department was evidently too busy chasing around Katrina evacuees to lock him up. Maybe New Orleans should now demand money from the federal government to deal with all these criminals flocking here from Texas. Thanks Houston.

thankshouston.jpg