A state district judge ruled Thursday that emails released from Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope’s account will not be suppressed in his upcoming criminal trial.
In a hearing Thursday, 15th District Judge David Smith announced his decision denying a motion to suppress emails that Pope’s attorneys argued were personal and wrongly released as part of records released through a lawsuit brought against Pope by The Independent. Those emails are at the root of perjury charges against the marshal in his upcoming felony trial.
“He (Smith) really didn’t give a whole lot of reasons for the decision,” said Defense attorney John McLindon after the hearing.
McLindon said he and his co-counsel, attorney Bret Grayson, plan to file an appeal of Smith’s decision.
“We will probably take a writ to the Third Circuit (Court of Appeals),” McLindon said Thursday morning.
Pope is facing trial on seven felony counts — two of perjury and five of malfeasance in office — as well as an active recall effort from the public.
McLindon said he is also preparing a motion for further discovery in the case, aimed at requesting 15th Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes to recuse himself in the case.
“We will file a discovery motion to show evidence of the close relationship between (Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark) Garber and the district attorney,” McLindon said.
Pope’s trial, which has already been pushed back, is currently set to begin on Feb. 20. The recall effort against Pope is coming up on its deadline to secure the signatures of one-third of the registered voters in the city of Lafayette in order to force a new election.