As we had reported in January, the personnel shuffle in the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney’s Office has caused delays once again in the prosecution of the accused murderer of retired Grambling State University Professor Dr. Sue Hashway.
The DA’s office recused itself from the prosecution of the alleged killer, Cameron Mays, because new hires in the office formerly were involved as public defenders for Mays. Deanna McCallum, who is the wife of another judge in the 3rd JD, Jay McCallum, and Lewis Jones, who was recently a candidate for 3rd JD Judge, are now Assistant District Attorneys.
Assistant Attorney General Mike Ruddick, based in Monroe, will be handling the case.
Ruddick told Lincoln Parish News Online at this morning’s court hearing that he had been given the case “two or three weeks ago,” and that Mays’ trial, now set for September 28, would likely have to be delayed beyond that date so that he could familiarize himself with the case files.
Hashway was killed nearly three years ago, in June 2012, in the normally quiet Cypress Springs neighborhood of Ruston, in what appeared to be a home invasion and robbery. Several days after the crime, the Ruston Police Department (RPD) arrested Mays and charged him with Hashway’s murder. He was also charged in another home invasion and rape that occurred in the same neighborhood.
Today’s developments came after bailiffs attempted to close the courtroom to the public. It was said that to relieve courtroom crowding, only those whose names appeared on the docket would be allowed in, and after their cases were heard and they left the courtroom, then others would be allowed in.
We protested, and were let in.
On this point, Louisiana’s Constitution is succinct and clear.
Article 1, Sec. 22 – Access to courts
All courts shall be open, and every person shall have an adequate remedy by due process of law and justice, administered without denial, partiality, or unreasonable delay, for injury to him in his person, property, reputation, or other rights.
The next hearing is set for 9:00 AM, July 21.
At 1:30 PM this afternoon, another defendant involved the Hashway case, Brandon Bonton, is scheduled for a preliminary exam hearing.