Judge denies bond increase for ex-Addis officer involved in fatal New Year’s Eve crash

PORT ALLEN – On Thursday, the West Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office argued to have the bond increased for the former Addis police officer involved in the New Year’s Eve crash that killed two Brusly High teens.

Judge Tonya Lurry denied Assistant District Attorney Lonny Guidroz’s plea.

Former Addis Officer David Cauthron

David Cauthron was speeding during a pursuit of Tyquel Zanders, who had allegedly stolen his parents’ car. Cauthron was on LA 1 when investigating officials said he failed to brake when passing through a red light and smashed into another vehicle killing Caroline Gill and Maggie Dunn.

Cauthron was placed on leave following the accident and his arrest on Jan. 2 for two counts of negligent homicide. Cauthron’s bond was set at $100,000 and he bonded out of jail on Jan. 8.

The Addis Town Council accepted Cauthron’s resignation on Feb. 1. He was indicted by a grand jury on February 24 on more charges that included: two counts of manslaughter with the underlying felony being one count of aggravated obstruction of a highway, one count of malfeasance, one count negligent injury and one count reckless operation.

At Thursday’s hearing, Guidroz argued that one of the terms of Cauthron’s initial bond was that he obtain employment out of state.

“It’s harder on the victims’ families to have to see him every day,” Guidroz said. “We were more okay with the bond when we thought he was going to work out of state.”

Cauthron’s attorney stated that his client tried to get work out of state as far as Minnesota but the process fell through. After those failed attempts, Cauthron was forced to work at a fast food restaurant in Plaquemine before trying to transfer to Port Allen.

Lurry said Cauthron’s bond for negligent homicide was high at the start and she compared his bond to Zanders’ bond, which was set at $1 million.

“In this matter, the bond for negligent homicide is high,” Lurry said. “This man (Cauthron) whether he made good decisions or bad decisions, I don’t think he woke up and said ‘I’m going to break the law today’.”

Judge Lurry said she believes Cauthron’s bond is substantial. Her final message after denying the increase was “I don’t think any number is a good number.”

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