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Thomas Alonzo speaking to press

Family tells court Lafayette woman shot, killed by teen didn’t carry a gun

By Ashley White, Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Oct. 21, 2022
A Lafayette man who was a teen when he shot a woman in her car, claiming he feared for his life, will spend 22 years in prison.

Shawntrell Sampy pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Marisha Felix. He originally faced a second-degree murder charge, which carries a life sentence, but pleaded guilty to the amended charge in June and faced up to 30 years in prison.
Sampy, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, said Felix had been harassing him, threatening him and once shot at him and his younger brother. He did not report any of the incidents to police.

“My life was in danger and hers was too,” he told the Felix family during his sentencing Thursday. “I still love y’all.”

How did Marisha Felix die? Felix was a fun and happy single mother, raising her then 3-year-old child, who has autism, with the help of her family, her father, Mitchell Felix said in court Thursday. Her son loved taking selfies with Felix. She talked with her sister, Sonya Arceneaux, about opening a transitional home for women and emphasized talking about gun violence and safety for women, he sister said.

Felix and her siblings were close with their father’s sister, Nicole Felix, and her five children, often spending weekends at her house. The girls would dress up and perform. One time, they dressed up like the Cheetah Girls.

Sampy was outgoing and had been boxing since he was about 9, his mother, Shauna Sampy, said. He attended but did not graduate from Carencro High School. She tried to make sure Sampy and his brother stayed busy. Sampy often helped to take care of his grandmother when she was sick, staying with her in the hospital and communicating what she needed to health care personnel.

Sampy’s younger brother testified that Felix threatened the pair twice, driving by and flashing a gun at them. One night as they were walking to their grandmother’s house, Felix shot at them, Sampy’s brother testified. “We were both terrified of her,” his brother said in court.

They did not report the incident to police, something state prosecutor Lance Beal pressed Sampy’s brother about in a tense exchange. Sampy’s attorney, Thomas Alonzo, said during court it’s not an uncommon decision to exclude authorities from issues, especially on Lafayette’s north side.

Felix’s family said that wasn’t in her character. When Alonzo showed a picture from a social media post of a woman who had a tattoo similar to Felix’s holding a gun but showing no face, her family denied it was her. “I can’t believe she would threaten him (Sampy) or have a gun,” Arceneaux said. “I know for a fact she did not carry a gun.” On March 1, 2017, Felix was in her black convertible leaving an apartment complex on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Sampy shot at the car 11 times, striking it nine times, Lafayette Police Detective Marion Borel testified. The car crashed into a fence. Felix ultimately died in her car from a gunshot wound to the back.

Sampy, who was identified by a witness as the shooter, was later interviewed by police. He first denied being involved in the shooting but later told detectives Felix had been harassing him. When he saw her that night, she stopped her car and revved the engine. That’s when he shot at her.
There was no indication that Felix shot back nor did investigators find a gun in her car, Borel testified. Cameras at the apartment complex were not functional at the time.

Borel said he could not find any evidence that Felix harassed Sampy. Borel said he’s unsure why Felix was at the complex. Her aunt said she was supposed to come home to her son that night. Sampy’s mother said he had friends who lived there. Two others were charged with accessory after the fact in connection with the shooting.

‘Live without her for a lifetime’ Felix’s son still searches for her at her parents’ house. As someone with autism, he finds comfort in scents, his family said. He goes from room to room trying to pick up his mother’s scent, which is no longer there. He often finds himself in the room she used to sleep in, curled up in the bed, searching for that familiar smell.

The family hasn’t told the 7-year-old yet, but since her death he’s gone from being all smiles and hugs to having separation anxiety and having outbursts, Nicole Felix said. “How do you explain to an autistic child that his mother was murdered?” she said Thursday in court. “Even if he wasn’t autistic, how do you say that?”

It was a senseless killing, Nicole Felix said. She spoke directly to Sampy telling him he should have come to her and they could have worked things out, that he didn’t have to kill her niece. “We have to live without her for a lifetime. In 30 years, you can still visit your mom,” Nicole Felix said. “In 30 years, we have nothing but a grave and hurt and heartache.” Her family visits the graveyard every Sunday, her father said. They bring fresh flowers and spend hours there.

Sampy’s family, including his aunt and mother, said they felt for the Felix family and the suffering they were going through. “My heart goes out to the family and I’m so sorry that it happened,” Shauna Sampy said. “I didn’t raise a murderer.”

‘At the end of the day, someone still died’ Judge Royale Colbert, who serves in the 15th Judicial District, sentenced the now 22-year-old to 22 years in prison with credit for time served. Colbert did not put a time restriction on when Sampy could file for post-conviction relief. Colbert said he extensively combed through a pre-sentencing investigation that judges use to guide their ultimate decision.

“I don’t understand what happened or how it happened. It seems to be a thing with no rhyme or reason. ” Colbert said. “I can’t seem to split the baby. Someone died. Your family can visit you but they can only visit her (Felix) at the graveyard.”

Felix’s family and the state asked Colbert for the maximum sentence Sampy’s plea allowed – 30 years. Sampy’s attorney asked for 10 years because of Sampy’s age and because of the fear he felt. “At the end of the day, someone still died,” the judge said. “A child is without his mother and there’s about to be two (more) mothers without a child.”

New details emerge in murder trial over 2017 death of ‘Good Samaritan’ Christon Chaisson

By Megan Wyatt Oct 12, 2021 the Advocate

Details about what unfolded before a fatal 2017 shooting in downtown Lafayette came into focus Tuesday in Judge Marilyn Castle’s 15th Judicial District courtroom as a jury listened to opening statements and evidence in a long-awaited murder trial.

Defendant Tyler Benoit, then 20, left Grant Street Dance Hall with a group of friends from his hometown of Kaplan just before 1:30 a.m. Aug. 12, 2017, when the group allegedly came across a Kaplan couple they knew arguing in the parking lot of the nearby Rosa Parks Transportation Center.

The group reportedly witnessed Bryan Eddington push his “on-again, off-again” girlfriend, Angel Hebert, so hard she fell onto the concrete parking lot. A few bystanders helped the woman to her feet, including 31-year-old Christon Chaisson.

At that moment, state prosecutors argued, Benoit and his friend, Gavin White, “inserted themselves” into what was unfolding.

Chaisson was shot once just above his right hip. Hebert, who was hysterical, attempted to render first aid during a 911 call. The jury listened to that call as well as footage from an officer’s body camera at the scene of the shooting.

“He. Helped. Me,” Hebert said, each word punctuated by a sob, to the Lafayette officer. Later, she asked him, “Can you tell me where he’s going? Is he going to be OK?”

The officer didn’t have an answer for Hebert; Chaisson died soon after he was transported to the hospital.

Benoit, now 24, was later arrested on one count of second-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice for tampering with evidence.

“Mr. Tyler Benoit specifically intended to kill him or cause him great bodily harm,” prosecutor Roya Boustany said Tuesday in her opening statement. “And just so you know, that specific intent can happen in a split second.”

Benoit, who was later indicted by a grand jury, pleaded not guilty to both charges. He was released from jail on a reduced bond of $125,000 under conditions that prohibit him from leaving his house at night, consuming drugs or alcohol or keeping weapons in his home.

“In this case, the murder weapon is gone — thrown into a coulee, in the Intracoastal — who knows where? It is gone,” Boustany said.

Benoit’s attorney, Thomas Alonzo, suggested during jury selection Monday and again during his opening statement Tuesday that his client may have acted in self-defense. “In Louisiana, people have a right to defend themselves against a threat “if it’s reasonable, only if it’s reasonable,” Alonzo told potential jurors Monday afternoon. Someone being trapped or threatened by a large individual where somebody believes they’re going to be harmed would be an example of a reasonable threat, Alonzo said.

Alonzo said on Tuesday that Benoit was 20 years old; 5 feet, 5 inches tall; and weighed about 140 pounds in August 2017. Chaisson was 31 years old; 6 feet, 2 inches tall; and weighed about 220 pounds at the time of his death, according to Alonzo. A forensic pathologist would later testify that Chaisson weighed 199 pounds at the time of his autopsy.

Alonzo also said during his opening statement that Benoit was not the shooter responsible for Chaisson’s death. “The facts indicate, without a doubt, the shooter was Gavin White. The shooter was Gavin White,” Alonzo told the jury.

A jury of 14 people is hearing the case, including eight men and six women. Two are Black and 12 are White.
Benoit is White; Chaisson was Black.

The jury on Tuesday heard opening statements by Boustany and Alonzo along with some of the state’s evidence in the case. Among the witnesses Boustany and Alisa Gothreaux, also a state prosecutor, called were first responders, detectives, forensic experts and a firearm identification expert.

The jury also listened to a 911 call, watched footage from an officer’s body camera, saw videos and photos from the scene of the crime, saw photos from Chaisson’s autopsy and bullet fragments recovered from Chaisson’s body and watched drone footage from the location of the shooting.

Kelly Chaisson arrived to the courtroom Monday with a framed photo of her late husband from their wedding day and sat beside a few of his family members. She left their son, now 7, behind with her parents so she could focus on the trial she’s waited more than four years for.

“It’s kind of shocking that it’s actually happening,” she said. “It’s almost not real.”

Benoit’s trial has been postponed numerous times. His most recent trial date in July was rescheduled to October at the request of his attorney after a key witness for the defense was hospitalized. Another trial date in March 2020 was postponed after pandemic precautions closed courthouses across the state.

Benoit’s family, who sat in the courtroom on Monday and Tuesday, declined comment.

Because second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison, the jury must return a unanimous verdict. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The goal for everyone is justice, Boustany told potential jurors Monday afternoon. Justice looks different for each of the individuals involved in the case.

“I have a victim no longer here and Mr. Benoit has the rest of his life,” Boustany said. “So it is very serious.”

Murder trial over 2017 Death of ‘Good Samaritan’ Christon Chaisson Postponed to October

By Megan Wyatt The Advocate, Jul 19, 2021

The long-awaited murder trial for Tyler Nicholas Benoit, which was set to begin Monday, has been rescheduled to October after a key witness in the case was unexpectedly hospitalized Monday morning.

Judge Marilyn Castle of the 15th Judicial District Court ordered for the trial to be reset to Oct. 11 after Benoit’s attorney, Thomas Alonzo, provided documentation that the witness would not be able to testify in court this week.

“Everybody would like to see this case tried,” Castle said, noting that the trial had already been pushed back multiple times. “I’d like to see this case tried.”

Benoit, 24, of Kaplan, was indicted on one count of second-degree murder in the August 2017 death of Christon Chaisson. Benoit is accused of shooting Chaisson to death in the early morning hours of Aug. 12, 2017, in downtown Lafayette.
Lafayette Police said in 2017 that Chaisson was passing by the Rosa Parks Center when he saw a woman being beaten by her boyfriend. Chaisson reportedly was shot to death when he attempted to intervene to protect the woman, police said, which earned Chaisson the nickname of the good Samaritan.

Chaisson, 31, of Broussard, left behind a wife, Kelly, and a young son. The boy recently celebrated his 7th birthday.

Kelly Chaisson, who moved to the Dallas area in October, drove six hours to be present in the Lafayette courtroom Monday. She brought a framed photo of Chaisson from their wedding day.

“I’m not happy we’re going home without an ending — a result — but we are dedicated to see this through no matter how long it takes,” Kelly Chaisson said as she left the courthouse Monday afternoon.
Witness Angel Hebert was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital around 6 a.m. Monday with complications related to a high-risk pregnancy, according to testimony by her fiancé, Bryan Eddington.

Alonzo described Hebert as “critical” to the defense’s case. State prosecutors Alisa Gothreaux and Roya Boustany questioned the timing of the hospitalization and objected to resetting the trial date.

Castle released the pool of potential jurors early Monday afternoon and told Alonzo to return to the court before 4:30 p.m. with documentation in writing from Hebert’s doctor about her condition.

“I think it’s just kind of incredible to think I’m perpetrating some kind of fraud against this court,” Alonzo said, noting the witness was expected to have a baby seven weeks before her due date.  Alonzo returned to the courtroom around 3 p.m. Monday with documentation for the judge, who rescheduled the trial to Oct. 11. The last trial date of March 23, 2020, was pushed back after the courthouse was ordered to close as coronavirus spread through the state.

“This is a case that’s going to trial,” Castle said.

Benoit sat in the courtroom gallery alongside family members on Monday. He and his family declined to comment on the trial’s postponement. Benoit was released from jail in October 2017 on a $125,000 bond under the conditions he would not leave his house between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., not consume drugs or alcohol and not keep weapons in his home. He also was ordered to wear a bracelet that monitors alcohol intake as a condition of his release.

The original article can be found here:  Murder trial over 2017 death of ‘good Samaritan’ Christon Chaisson postponed to October

Ankle monitor cost concerns; man heads back to jail

By Breon Martin October 29, 2019 KADN News 15

The grocery store, work, church and even school are just some of the places allowed for one sentenced to wear an ankle monitor.
Thomas Alonzo, attorney at law says a perpetrator can stay out of jail because of the digital shackles — which is basically house arrest.
If the rules aren’t followed an alarm is sent back to the monitoring company, the company notifies the sheriff’s office who then jails the device wearer.
Alonzo says, “it works for some people and some people it doesn’t; it’s very expensive and some people can’t afford it.”
Roy Clark, Sr. says his ankle monitor sets him back nearly $400 a month. He explains his only income of $771 comes from disability, while $700 of that goes into rent. That doesn’t include utilities, food and medicine. Clark says the circumstances make it impossible to make payments, especially after losing his wife of 25 years due to a cardiac arrest.
Clark says he set his home a blaze in order to collect a check to support his family and was arrested with a now reduced $40,000 bond after attempted insurance fraud.
“I was not thinking about nothing— all I knew is that I loved those children,” says Clark, who claims the biological father of four of his wife’s five kids, suggested he do it and later framing him in order to gain custody.
“It was in that hour when he called it in and told them that… I went to jail and the fire marshal was nice enough to let me stay out and bury my wife.”
Now left with no home, no pictures and no contact with his step-kids I asked, “What’s are the consequences?” Clark responded with, “I’m going to jail.”
“This individual is offered house arrest. If he accepts it. He signs up for it, he interviews for it, they put a bracelet on,” said Alonzo who offers some advice to those in a similar situation. He says, “Make that you’re ready to meet your obligations with the bracelet. Make your payments, stay on the system; do not deviate from the pathway that you’re allowed to go to, keep working and stay out of jail.”
Clark says even though he’ll be going back to jail Wednesday, but the problem remains — says the ankle monitor is costly.
News 15 is waiting to hear back from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office to get specific details about the monitor payment system.

The original article can be found here: https://kadn.com/ankle-monitor-cost-concerns-man-heads-back-to-jail/

Thomas V. Alonzo news interview

Lack of Funding for Public Defenders Means a Backlog in Court Cases, by Taylor Trache, Fox 15 KADN 5/25/17

Attorneys can remember the time when Lafayette Parish was efficient with cases and judges moved dockets quickly. But that efficiency seems to be wearing thin.

“Now because of this funding issue it’s starting to slow down and it’s starting to back up. It’s going to be a problem if we don’t get the funding.” said Attorney, Thomas Alonzo.

Louisiana public defenders are already few and far between and it’s not getting any better.

“They don’t have enough to handle the amount of cases coming in.” said Alonzo.

In 2012, the 15th Judicial District Public Defenders office handled more than 19,000 cases. And judges are trying to find ways to ease the growing case load through volunteers.

“Attorneys came forward big time we had like 150 attorneys” said 15th Judicial District Judge Patrick Michot.

Judge Patrick Michot reached out to attorneys on a volunteer basis to help manage cases coming in.

“Everybody has their own comfort level of what they wanna do in their profession in a courtroom, or in a criminal arena. But it didn’t always dovetail with what they were doing before, for some it was and some it wasn’t” said Michot.

“It’s better that they have public defenders with experience but these lawyers have stepped in and that’s kind of eased the back load. But still there’s a huge waiting list for people who need lawyers.” said Alonzo.

Alonzo says rarely has he ever seen someone plead guilty to avoid waiting for representation in Lafayette Parish. But, it also brings about a person’s right to a speedy trial.

“Delayed justice is justice denied. They’re entitled to a speedy trial and when that slows, it’s a hit on justice” said Michot.

Thomas V. Alonzo speaking to KADN about funding for Lafayette Parish public defenders.

Click here to see original video

Original article: https://kadn.com/lack-of-funding-for-public-defenders-means-a-backlog-in-court-cases/

Thomas Alonzo provides commentary about an unusual legal case involving multiple criminal and civil charges in Gretna, Louisiana. Article by Robert Lawson, Louisiana Record, 10/25/16

Excerpt: “Thomas Alonzo, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, said the cases must proceed, irrespective of criminal proceedings. Since both the bookkeeper (defendant) and doctor (plaintiff) are involved in separate criminal proceedings, the lawsuit will carry on.
“The bookkeeper would still have to go to court,” Alonzo told the Louisiana Record. “It’s a civil matter, so it wouldn’t be delayed unless the vehicular homicide somehow was connected to the civil case.”

Alonzo said the plaintiff, or even the defendant, would be wise to bond out before appearing in court for the civil case, though in some instances a judge might give permission to let them out for the court appearance.

“He could probably get permission to go to a court proceeding,” Alonzo said. “Most people want to bond out though. He likely wouldn’t pursue the civil case unless he was out of jail.”

That’s because impressions are important, Alonzo indicated. “Otherwise, he’d have to show up in an orange jumpsuit. It would be more logical and practical to bond out,” he said.”

Original article: http://louisianarecord.com/stories/511018831-suspected-plastic-surgeon-rapist-claims-bookkeeper-accused-of-manslaughter-swindled-millions-from-him

“Conviction of Lafayette teen in 2014 armed robbery overturned by appeals court, cites judge error” by Billy Gunn The Advocate 11/4/15

Excerpt: “A Louisiana appellate court has thrown out the 2014 conviction and prison sentence of a Lafayette teenager accused in the armed robbery of another juvenile two years ago.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, in a decision released Wednesday, said the felony case of Dontrelon Thomas will be sent back to Judge Ed Rubin’s court for another 15th Judicial District trial in Lafayette.
The 3rd Circuit said Rubin erred when he allowed the jury to listen to a recording of the victim’s testimony after the jury had begun to deliberate. During the July 2014 trial, Rubin’s decision to let the jury rehear the testimony brought multiple objections from Thomas’ attorney, Thomas Alonzo.

“We felt that this was an obvious miscarriage of justice,” Alonzo said Wednesday. “We knew it was going to be reversed, and we have been waiting for that to occur.”

Original article: http://theadvocate.com/news/13887454-48/conviction-of-lafayette-teen-in

“Vermilion Parish Deputy Remembered a Year after Brutal Slaying Rocked Community” by Billy Gunn The Advocate 7/1/15

Excerpt:

“Now, their attorneys are trying to keep them off death row.

In October, Richard’s lead attorney, Thomas Alonzo, filed a document that indicated Richard may be mentally incompetent to stand trial. Alonzo declined to delve into Richard’s possible mental issues last week, saying “This is really a sensitive case.”

Alonzo did say he and Richard’s other lawyers might ask to move the trial from Vermilion Parish.

According to court filings, Richard’s trial is scheduled for next April but Ayo and Alonzo said that date likely would be pushed back.”

Original Article:  http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/12738664-123/vermilion-parish-deputy-remembered-a

Trial attorney Thomas Alonzo on Fox15

Fontenot Sentencing Date Set, Fox15 6/16/15

Thomas Alonzo provided commentary for a news segment about the upcoming sentencing of Seth Fontenot.

Excerpt: “We spoke with trial attorney Thomas Alonzo who says that the time Fontenot is facing in prison is all Judge Rubin’s decision.” Thomas Alonzo: “If he sentences him to all three counts, and chances are he will, the counts could run consecutive or concurrent. It just depends. There are a variety of factors to be taken into account. I think after it is all said and done, no one is going to be happy, and that’s generally how these things work out.”

“Charges Dismissed Against Former Lafayette Cop Accused of Sexual Battery” KATC.com 3/27/15

Prosecutors dismissed the sexual battery and malfeasance in office charges Thursday against former Lafayette Police office Jackie Hagan Jr.
Hagan had been accused of two incidents of groping a woman while on duty. He had already been found not guilty in the first case.

Thomas Alonzo, Hagan’s attorney, said he does not know why prosecutors dropped the charges, but surmised it could have been because of the not guilty verdict in the first trial.

In that trial, because the factual basis in both allegations were similar, prosecutors were allowed to present evidence from both cases, Alonzo said.

After about 90 minutes of deliberations, the six-person jury returned a not guilty verdict.

Alonzo said he thinks that not guilty verdict in the first trial, even with the testimony from the alleged victim in the second incident, may have scared away prosecutors from trying Hagan on the second charge.
“I think the state made the wise decision,” Alonzo said.

Alonzo said Hagan is happy to move on with his life and is working, but not as a police officer.

In the second case, Hagan had been accused of groping a woman on Aug. 20, 2011 while on duty.

Original Article: http://www.katc.com/story/28633877/charges-dismissed-against-former-lafayette-cop-accused-of-sexual-battery

Thomas Alonzo interviewed on KADN

 “Seth Fontenot Trial Set to Begin Tomorrow”

Jonathan Arnold Multimedia Journalist
Monday, March 16, 2015 – 4:17pm
LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN) — “Tomorrow Seth Fontenot will try to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison for shooting and killing a teen in 2013 and injuring two others.
Fontenot plead to negligent homicide back in October in hopes to lessen his sentencing to 5 years or less in prison but that plea was turned down by the District Attorney. A jury of 12 Lafayette Parish residents will need 10 votes to convict Fontenot.
“It’s simply a first degree murder charge based on the number of victims involved.” said Trial Attorney Thomas Alonzo.
“In any type of situation like this where a young man has lost his life and another young man is exposed to this type of sentence, it’s going to be a very emotional decision for all parties involved.”
“It’s a tragic situation for everyone involved and I think that we are going to finally see it come to an end this week.”
Despite Fontenot’s insistence that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone, a grand jury charged him with first-degree murder and attempted murder in February 2013.
One of the requirements of leveling a first-degree murder charge at someone is the belief they intended to harm more than one person, according to Louisiana’s revised statutes.
The prosecution has taken the death penalty off the table.”
Original article: www.kadn.com/news/seth-fontenot-trial-set-begin-tomorrow

“Pair Accused of Killing Vermilion Parish Deputy Face Death Penalty” by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 10/1/14.

Excerpt:

“Richard, outfitted in a faded orange and white prison suit and sporting a scruffy chin beard, said nothing, instead letting one of his two defense attorneys, Thomas Alonzo, speak for him.

Alonzo answered not guilty to each charge on which Richard was indicted.
Alonzo told Castle he would ask state officials for records of Richard’s childhood, which could reveal mental defects or illnesses that would keep him off death row.”

 

For the full article, visit The Advocate:  http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/10418411-123/pair-accused-of-killing-vermilion

“Former Lafayette Police Officer Found Not Guilty in Sexual Battery Case” by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 9/18/14.

Excerpt:

“A jury acquitted former Lafayette Police Officer Jackie Hagan Jr. Wednesday of sexual battery stemming from a woman’s claim he groped her in a November 2011 encounter while on duty and wearing his badge.

The jury of six also declined to find Hagan guilty of the lesser charge of attempted sexual battery, which Judge Marilyn Castle said was an option. It took the jury about an hour and 20 minutes to reach their verdict. The trial began Monday.

Hagan faced up to 10 years in prison at hard labor, and would have had to register as a sex offender after his release from prison. Instead, he walked out of the Lafayette Parish Courthouse Wednesday a free man.

Hagan, accompanied by his wife and other family members, did not speak to media outside the courthouse.

“They came back with the right verdict,” said Hagan’s attorney, Thomas Alonzo.”

 

For the full article, visit The Advocate:  “Former Lafayette Police Officer Found Not Guilty in Sexual Battery Case”

 

“Women Testify in Sexual Battery Trial” by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 9/17/14

by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 9/17/14.

Excerpt:

She didn’t report the incident. A little over a year later, she was reading the KATC-TV website and saw his photo after he was arrested in the other case. “I seen that he did it to somebody else. I felt horrible. I should have reported it.”
Thomas Alonzo, Hagan’s attorney, asked her to list the drugs she was taking at the time: cocaine, marijuana, Xanax.
“How was your mind at the time?” Alonzo asked.
“I’m sure I wasn’t thinking the clearest,” she answered.”

For the full article, visit The Advocate:  “Women Testify in Sexual Battery Trial”

 

“Former Lafayette Police Officer on Trial in Sexual Battery Case” by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 9/17/14

by Billy Gunn, The Advocate 9/16/14.

Excerpt:

“Former Lafayette police Officer Jackie Hagan Jr., accused of sexually accosting a woman while he was on duty in 2011, faces up to 10 years in prison at hard labor if he’s convicted at a trial that started Monday.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this case is not complex at all,” Pat Magee, a prosecutor with the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, told the jury of five men and two women at the trial’s opening. One of the jurors is an alternate.
Magee said Hagan, 36, touched the woman’s privates without her consent. Magee said DNA evidence will show Hagan touched her in an intimate way.
Hagan’s attorney, Thomas Alonzo, conceded that Hagan was intimate with the woman, “probably not the smartest thing for him to do,” but insisted the contact was consensual.
Alonzo told the jurors the victim was going through personal problems at the time of the incident in downtown Lafayette, was intoxicated and taking sedatives, and willingly got into Hagan’s police car on Nov. 20, 2011.”

For the full article, visit The Advocate:  “Former Lafayette Police Officer on Trial in Sexual Battery Case”

 

“Accused Killer Seeks Move to Avoid ‘Jailhouse Snitches'” by Billy Gunn, Baton Rouge Advocate 5/13/14.

Excerpt:

“Rogers wants to avoid contact with potential informants, or “jailhouse snitches,” who could lie on the witness stand and send Rogers to death row, according to a motion in Rogers’ case, filed this week by one of his court-appointed attorneys, Thomas Alonzo.

Alonzo also is asking state District Judge John Trahan, who will preside over Rogers’ potential death penalty trial, to order jail officials to make sure none of the hundreds of other inmates at the Correctional Center talks to Rogers.

“We just want to make sure our client is protected,” Thomas Alonzo said Thursday…”

For full article, visit the Advocate: “Accused Killer Seeks Move to Avoid ‘Jailhouse Snitches'”
“Hill Decision Stirs up Debate” by Jim Mustian, Baton Rouge Advocate 8/12/13.

“Plea Deal Gives Lohse 20 Years” by Jessica Goff, Daily Advertiser 7/23/13.

“Lohse Gets 20-Year Sentence in Vehicular Homicide Case” by Billy Gunn, Baton Rouge Advocate 7/23/13.

“Wade Lohse Seeks Change of Venue, Cites Media Exposure” by Chris Ramirez, Daily Advertiser 6/26/13.

“Wade Lohse is Denied Bond in Vehicular Homicide” by Chris Ramirez, Daily Advertiser 5/15/13.

“Staff Sgt. Acquitted of Manslaughter” by Kristin Davis, Air Force Times 5/14/13.

“Acadiana Fugitive’s Video Provokes Outrage” by Billy Gunn, Baton Rouge Advocate 4/10/13.

“Former Lafayette Officer Indicted Again” Baton Rouge Advocate 2/8/13.

“Felix Case Suspect Out of Jail” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 9/13/12.

“Air Force Sergeant: Shooting Justified” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 8/20/12.

“Ex-Officer Booked in Sex Count” by Richard Burgess, Baton Rouge Advocate 8/9/12.

“Mistrial Declared in Inmate Drug-Smuggling Trial” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 7/26/12.

“Jury Clears Man in ’07 Nightclub Stabbings” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 8/12/11.

“Local Man Cleared in Stabbing from 2007” by Nicholas Persac, Daily Advertiser 8/12/11.

“Rape Suspect Out After Arrests” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 4/20/11.

“Judge Says 2 Brothers To Be Tried Together” by Jason Brown, Baton Rouge Advocate 2/6/11.

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