Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Sheriff’ Category

Bonton Trial Reset for April


Brandon Bonton, an alleged accomplice in the murder of retired Grambling State University Professor Sue Hashway, had his 2/26 trial date reset to 4/23/18 this morning in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston.

He is charged with accessory to 2nd degree murder, accessory to burglary, possession of stolen things, theft of a firearm, and possession of controlled dangerous substances.

Bonton allegedly aided Cameron Mays in the June, 2012, crime at Hashway’s home on Paynter Drive in Ruston.

Bonton’s attorney, Bob Noel of Monroe, said that he was “not anticipating” a trial, implying that some kind of plea deal was in the works, perhaps in exchange for Bonton’s testimony.

Mays’ trial is set for next week.

Markeva Daye and Robert Demps – who testified against Cameron Mays in his April, 2016 trial for aggravated kidnapping and rape – are scheduled for a court appearance this afternoon.

Presiding this morning was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.


DeSoto Parish LACE Program Corruption


DeSoto probe: Too much time and a half?

By Vickie Welborn – KTBS TV3 Shreveport

Three current DeSoto Parish sheriff’s deputies and one former deputy are under investigation for suspected abuse of overtime pay as part of their participation in a special traffic-enforcement detail.

The investigation is looking into whether they got paid for hours they didn’t work.

DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle placed the veteran deputies on paid administrative leave this week.

They are the subjects of an internal investigation, as well as a criminal investigation that will be led by State Police. Arbuckle said he expects State Police investigators to begin their investigation next week.

Louisiana’s legislative auditor is also conducting an investigative audit into the LACE program in DeSoto Parish. Preliminary findings from that audit led to the law enforcement investigations, Arbuckle said.

LACE — or Local Agency Compensation Enforcement — is also under fire on a statewide basis as separate investigations focus on state troopers in South Louisiana who are suspected of padding their paychecks. Three troopers have been identified as subjects of that investigation. One made more than $200,000.

State auditors have been in DeSoto Parish looking at the LACE participation of several agencies that benefit from the program: the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s office, Parish Police Jury and the criminal court system.

KTBS-3 Investigates has aired several reports about LACE over the past year. Questions arose earlier last year because of a disagreement about LACE administration and the use of DA diversion programs in DeSoto Parish. District Attorney Gary Evans took over complete control of the LACE program in the parish and has been diverting most of the ticket revenue to his office.

Prior to that, ticket money from the LACE program was divvied up among 14 agencies. Evans complained the program was losing money and instead wanted to control where the money goes.

Arbuckle pulled his deputies off LACE details, leaving it to State Police troopers. Evans also signed a contract with the Mansfield Police Department.

The Police Jury last fall adopted a resolution formally asking the legislative auditor to conduct a review of the entire program. Part of that review includes verifying the hours deputies worked writing LACE tickets.

The three deputies under investigation are suspected of claiming more hours than they actually worked. The fourth person no longer works for the sheriff’s office.

LACE is a program administered by district attorneys who contract with local law enforcement agencies to focus on creating safer highways by focusing on speeders and other traffic violators.

But it also became a lucrative way for law enforcement officers to add to their paychecks through overtime pay. DeSoto deputies were paid $45 per hour to work their off-duty shifts.

State troopers benefit, too, earning time-and-a-half for their LACE work. Some of the deputies were making $20,000 or more above their regular salaries. But the troopers under the microscope in South Louisiana were racking up more, with one making an annual salary of more than $200,000 with much of it coming from LACE for hours he didn’t work.

LACE operated for decades without drawing much attention, but it has come under additional scrutiny in recent months as some district attorneys learned the program was being administered in different ways, with some using it to bolster their office revenue through ticket diversion programs.

The state’s district attorneys association has been studying those diversion programs – and in some cases how it is connected with LACE — and are working toward suggested guidance to make sure all conform with state law. The sheriffs’ association also has been doing its own review.

Detention Center Budgets Adopted


It took but a few minutes at Tuesday’s meeting to adopt the Lincoln Parish Detention Center’s budgets for 2017 (revised), and 2018 (estimated), so the meeting only took about fifteen minutes. Had one other member been absent, there would have been no quorum to conduct the meeting.

Present were Lincoln Parish Police Jury President Randy Roberson, Sheriff Mike Stone, and Ruston Police Department Chief Steve Rogers. Absent were District Attorney John Belton, and Police Juror Joe Henderson.

Warden Jim Tuten noted in his report that the jail housed about 250 prisoners, about 10 above the limit. He explained that some fifty of the inmates had the flu, and couldn’t be sent to other facilities.

Said Tuten, “We can’t ship anybody to another jail, because nobody wants our flu.”

The commission also approve the minutes from the 11/30/17 meeting.

Detention Center Budgets Reviewed


The commission that oversees the parish jail met yesterday morning and reviewed the 2017 amended and 2018 proposed budgets for the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and approved their presentation at a 12/19/17 public hearing.

2017 Amended Budget
2018 Proposed Budget
2015-2018 Budget Comparisons

For 2018, revenues are expected to be $4.22 million, and expenditures are expected to be $4.28 million.

The amended 2017 budget revenues will be about $4.39 million, compared to an original estimate of $3.66 million. Final expenditures for 2017 will be about $4.19 million, compared to the original estimate of $4.02 million.

As we had reported earlier this year, the facility’s budget is double what it was five years ago when LaSalle Corrections ran the jail. Today, payroll and benefits alone are more than the entire budget was in 2012.

During the meeting, there was a lot of discussion about a new law that will go into effect 7/1/17 that puts 17 year-olds into the juvenile justice system, instead of into the adult system. Governor Jon Edwards signed the new law last year.

Some of the discussion centered on the possibility of converting some of the adult facilities into a juvenile jail, and then leasing some of the unused space to adjoining parishes. The cost of housing juveniles in a facility equipped to handle them can run $200 to $300/day, it was said.

The problem, Warden Jim Tuten said, was that the juveniles had to be housed “out of sight and sound” of the adult facility. Additionally, the guards for juvenile offenders have to be specially trained, and that a teacher would have to be hired, Tuten said.

Asked by Ruston Police Chief Steve Rogers how many 17 year-olds he had in custody, Tuten replied, “I’ve got one, right now.”

Burn Ban Issued for Lincoln Parish




CONTACT: Chief Kevin Reynolds
(318) 255-1055


The Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 has issued an emergency order banning all open-air outdoor burning effective immediately. This bum ban coincides with Lincoln Parish Police Jury Ordinance No. 276-06-(1) which authorizes Commissioners of Fire Protection District No. 1 of Lincoln Parish to impose a temporary ban on open-air outdoor burning within said district.

Due to the extremely dry conditions presently existing in Lincoln Parish, rural areas, woodlands, and forests are subject to fire. Anyone found to be violating this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not to exceed
$500 dollars, together with all costs of court, or a jail sentence not to exceed six months, or both.

This ban will remain in effect until lifted by the Commissioners of Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1. Anyone having questions concerning this matter should contact this office at the number listed above.

Mays Murder Trial still on for February


Accused murderer and convicted kidnapper/rapist Cameron Mays was in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District court yesterday morning in Ruston, for a status conference hearing.

He is scheduled to stand trial Monday, February 26, 2018, 9:00 AM, for the home invasion and murder of Sue Hashway in June of 2012.

No motions or filings were made at yesterday’s hearing. Attorney for the defendant was Kia Baldwin Richardson, and the prosecutor was Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young.

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

LA State Police Speed Trap Program Suspended


Zurik: State Police suspend LACE program amid FOX 8 investigation

Written by: Lee Zurik, Director of Investigations
Contributor: Tom Wright, Investigative Producer


Louisiana State Police have suspended a ticket-writing agreement with many local parishes, pending an internal review.

The suspension and review result from a FOX 8 undercover investigative series, State of Unrest, which premieres in the New Orleans viewing area Wednesday night on FOX 8 News at 10.

We spent much of the summer and fall on an undercover surveillance investigation and brought our findings to LSP Superintendent Kevin Reeves. Col. Reeves was noticeably upset and immediately called for the suspension of the LACE detail program.

LACE is short for Local Agency Compensated Enforcement. If you’ve seen a state trooper near the Bonnet Carre Spillway or in New Orleans East, they’re likely on a LACE shift.

Many local parishes throughout the state contract with State Police. They hire troopers to write tickets in those parishes on highways. The local government keeps the ticket money but reimburses LSP for trooper overtime and mileage.

Parishes participating in the program include St. Charles, St. John and Orleans parishes in the New Orleans metro, Ascencion Parish near Baton Rouge and Calcasieu Parish at Lake Charles.

It’s unclear how long the program will be suspended. But questions about some highly-paid police officers remain.

We’ll start to lay out our findings in State of Unrest, Wednesday on FOX 8 News at 10.

See here the memo.

Louisiana State Police suspends 3 troopers, LACE program amid payroll fraud investigation


The Louisiana State Police on Wednesday suspended a statewide highway traffic enforcement program and began a criminal investigation into three troopers accused of claiming extra-duty hours they never actually worked.

The State Police superintendent, Col. Kevin Reeves, ordered a review of the program, Local Agency Compensated Enforcement, and placed the troopers on administrative leave after reviewing surveillance footage provided by WVUE-TV.

The undercover footage appears to show the troopers “claiming hours for time they weren’t working,” said Maj. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman.

The troopers under investigation are Eric Curlee, a senior technician assigned to the agency’s Emergency Services Unit; Daryl Thomas, a veteran trooper who works out of the agency’s Kenner-based Troop B; and Byron Sims, a State Police polygraphist.

The LACE program is run by local district attorneys, who contract with the State Police and reimburse the agency for hours and mileage claimed by troopers working extra-duty shifts and writing speeding tickets in jurisdictions around the state.

The WVUE-TV segment, called State of Unrest, captured footage of the troopers abusing the program, apparently in part by writing a full shifts worth of tickets in a relatively short period of time.

Warrant Issued for Bonton


An arrest warrant was yesterday issued for Brandon Bonton, an alleged accomplice of Cameron Mays in the June, 2012 murder of Dr. Sue Hashway, after he failed to appear in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston.

Bonton was supposed to appear alongside two other co-defendants who were in court, Robert Demps and Markeva Daye.

Daye and Demps trial was reset for 9:00 AM, Monday, April 23, 2018, with a pretrial hearing the prior Friday (4/20 – 9:00 AM), and a status hearing at 9:00 AM, February 20, 2018.

Appearing for the state was Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young. Kia Richardson appeared for the defendants.

Presiding was Judge Tommy Rogers.

Sumlin Attorney Donated to Lincoln/Union DA Belton


Monroe attorney LaValle Salomon, who is the attorney of record for former state representative William Sumlin, has over the past three years contributed $3 thousand to Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton, campaign records show.

Sumlin, who two years ago was arrested and charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile, and has had his trial date rescheduled many times since his arrest.

Salomon donated $1000 to Belton’s campaign on 7/29/14, about three months prior to his election.


After Belton’s election, Salomon donated $1000 twice more, on 12/15/14, and on 7/23/15.


Sumlin Trial Date Vanishes?


The glacial pace of justice in the case of former Louisiana State Representative William Sumlin just got slower.

According to records at the Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court, he is scheduled for trial today (Monday, 10/30) at 9:00 AM in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston.

However, during an October 17 hearing on a motion to suppress evidence, that hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday, January 16, at 1:30 PM. Apparently, the state and the defense neglected to set a new trial date.

We will be in court today for the Bonton/Daye/Demps matter, so we will try to find out what’s what with the Sumlin case.