The Latest: Ex-Louisiana councilwoman’s lawyer encouraged
The Latest on Louisiana ex-councilwoman convicted of utility theft (all times local):
A former Louisiana town councilwoman’s attorney says he’s encouraged that an appeals court has ordered a new trial on charges she stole $39,000 from town water payments before her election.
Chris Bowman says prosecutors have notified him that they’ll ask the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal to rehear Patricia Hampton’s case. But he says he’s sure that will be denied, since the 3-judge panel ruled unanimously.
The judges overturned her conviction, saying prosecutors improperly kept two African-Americans from serving on the jury that convicted Hampton, who’s black.
They also said there was enough evidence to support Hampton’s conviction last year on a charge of felony theft.
Bowman says that because the judges had to rule first on the jury selection, they never considered a dozen other arguments for reversing the conviction.
A state appeal court has ordered a new trial for a former north Louisiana town councilwoman convicted of stealing $39,000 from town water payments before her election.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal says there was enough evidence to support Patricia Hampton’s conviction last year on a charge of felony theft. But it says prosecutors improperly kept two African-Americans from serving on the jury that convicted Hampton, who is black. It also says the judge improperly refused a hearing on her lawyer’s objection to the decisions.
Assistant District Attorney Russell Davis tells KTBS-TV that the Bienville Parish District Attorney’s Office is asking for a rehearing.
Hampton was elected to the Arcadia Town Council while charges were pending against her. She was suspended when convicted and did not run for re-election.