Police juror to stand trial on assault charges
Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2003
VIDALIA, La. &045; After turning down a plea bargain from the District Attorney’s Office, Concordia Parish Police Juror Charles Blaney is now scheduled to go to trial on April 16.
Late last year, Blaney reportedly shot a pistol into a group of teenagers who had gathered on a field Blaney owns near Vidalia.
The teenagers reported that they were given permission by Blaney’s wife, Dora, to be on the property.
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Blaney, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, was booked on aggravated assault with a firearm and criminal damage to property.
The plea bargain offered by the District Attorney’s Office to Blaney included six months supervised probation and a year and a half of unsupervised probation, a $500 fine, a letter of apology to the juveniles involved and a no firearm restriction, according to sources close to the case.
Blaney’s attorney, Phillip Letard, entered a not guilty plea in court Wednesday to charges of aggravated assault on behalf of his client.
Blaney was originally charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, a felony offense.
According to Prosecutor Brad Burget, the charges against Blaney were reduced to three counts of aggravated assault, a misdemeanor offense. The charges were reduced because the felony charge was a statute introduced in 2001, Burget said, and he does not know if it would withstand the scrutiny of a constitutional challenge. &uot;I wouldn’t want to put a bunch of 14- and 15-year-olds on the stand and a conviction be overturned,&uot; Burget said, referring to the constitutionality issues of the statute.
Burget also said additional facts were introduced in the case. For instance, Blaney had an ongoing feud with one of the juveniles who was on his property.