NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The attorney for a murder suspect wants Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson to be found in contempt of court. He took his claim to a courtroom on Friday morning, but the sheriff didn’t show up.
The sheriff’s office has explained she was not mandated to appear in court, however, Judge Kimya Holmes is requiring the sheriff to appear in person at the next hearing.
The case stems back to a decision she made on June 13th to put all deputies on jail security, taking many from their post at the courthouse. That morning, court visitors were met with locked doors and a sign on the front window to notify that the building would be closed.
“This is not civil district court; this is criminal court,” said Lionel Lon Burns, an attorney for murder suspect Derrick Groves. Groves was supposed to have a hearing on June 13th, but because of Hutson’s move, that didn’t happen.
“We filed an appearance subpoena [for a hearing on August 19] where we asked that she be made to appear. we have an appearance subpoena for her. She didn’t appear,” Burns told WGNO’s Amy Russo. “She has a duty as sheriff to provide security to the courts. She did not provide security to the courts.”
That’s despite a rule from the State Supreme Court requiring it.
“I want the Attorney General Jeff Landry to prosecute her for that,” said Burns.
A new hearing date has not been set.