Judge denies request to delay Dennis Perkins’ trial 5th time

The attorney for Dennis Perkins was in a Livingston Parish courtroom along with prosecutors from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.

The conference hearing was for Judge Erika Sledge to ensure Jarrett Ambeau, Perkins’ attorney, had all the evidence ahead of the trial.

Perkins was arrested on Oct. 23, 2019 along with his then wife Cynthia Perkins.

Perkins was a high-ranking deputy with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office at the time of his arrest and was terminated immediately. Perkins entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment on Dec. 19. A grand jury did indict Perkins on 78 felonies on Dec. 17. He’s accused of child rape, producing child pornography, and participating in feeding pastries laced with semen to school children. Dennis is also accused of sexual abuse of an animal.

His wife Cynthia pleaded guilty and is now serving 40 years without the benefit of parole. READ NOW

CYNTHIA PERKINS

Ambeau said of the nearly 700,000 pictures and videos provided in discovery from the AG’s office, he and his staff have only made it through a third of all the evidence. Plus, the state handed over nearly 35 spreadsheets today (Nov. 9th) that is nothing but text messages.

“The volume is astounding,” said Ambeau. “It’s me and my paralegal going through all this. We don’t have the state with all the resources.”

Ambeau argued that the state had four months, May-August, to go through all the discovery and since then, they have ample amount of time to prepare for a Jan. 2023 trial. However, he said when it comes to him, having received the final evidence files at the end of August, it only gives him four months to go through everything and prepare for trial.

“It’s not possible for me to effectively review and effectively go to trial in January,” said Ambeau.

It’s why Ambeau requested Judge Sledge for another delay.

“I don’t want to get to January and tell you then we’re not prepared. I have a duty to go through all the evidence. I’m not asking for a 6-month continuance, but maybe a 30-day or 60-day. I don’t think I’m going to be able to select a jury on Jan. 9th,” said Ambeau.

The AG’s Lead Prosecutor on the case Barry Milligan argued that Ambeau “has had access to everything for three years now but in good faith, we felt they needed their own copies. We’re on our fourth trial date. I’ve participated in the review process of this evidence. It’s amazing what you can do when you’re sufficiently motivated.”

Milligan said he respectfully disagreed with Ambeau’s request to delay trial a fifth time.

“We’ve had it about two months and we have about two months more to go. By the terabytes of information we have, we’re not even at the halfway point yet,” said Ambeau. “I have to try two other very serious trials, one this coming Monday and another in mid-December. I have to have Christmas and Thanksgiving and I’m a single person. I don’t see us being ready for trial on Jan. 9th.”

Judge Sledge said she understood the issues at hand but she had to rule without consideration of other jurisdictions.

“It’s been pending since Oct. 2019. It’s our fourth trial date. This case is the priority case for Jan. 9th. Discovery has been satisfied since the end of Aug. I’m going to deny the oral motion to delay the trial,” said Judge Sledge.

Ambeau said he plans to file a written motion.

The trial was continued from Oct. 2022 to Jan. 9, 2023 to give the defense enough time to prepare.

About Kiran Chawla 1134 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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