Pope pretrial, trial continued

by Walter Pierce

The embattled lawman got a reprieve in court Thursday morning.

City Marshal Brian Pope was in state district court Thursday morning for a pretrial hearing that was ultimately continued to July 27 after his legal team explained to Judge David Smith that they had only received discovery items that morning. The district attorney’s office also told the judge that it was awaiting approval from him to hand over select grand jury testimony to Pope’s defense.

As a result, Pope’s trial, originally scheduled for May 8, was also continued — to Sept. 25.

Pope faces seven felony counts of perjury and malfeasance stemming from his long-running (and now concluded) public records battle with The IND. He was indicted by a Lafayette Parish Grand Jury last August. For each perjury count, Pope faces a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment at hard labor for up to five years, or both. He faces up to five years at hard labor and a $5,000 fine, or both, on the malfeasance charges.

Pope will appear before District Judge Jules Edwards on March 27 to explain why, nearly a year after Edwards ordered him to perform 173 hours of community service as a result of his earlier civil contempt of court charge, the marshal doesn't appear to have begun to fulfill the terms of that order.

Read more about that criminal contempt of court sentence here.

More about the widening criminal case against the marshal can be found here.