Baton Rouge lawyer guilty of battery against Concordia Parish district attorney
Published 12:01 am Friday, July 15, 2016
VIDALIA — A Baton Rouge attorney has been found guilty in connection with a March 2015 battery committed against Seventh Judicial District Attorney Brad Burget.
Louisiana’s case against Felix “Andy” Anthony DeJean IV was brought Thursday before Judge Chet Traylor, a retired Louisiana Supreme Court associate justice from Monroe.
After hearing from both sides, Traylor said the state, represented by the LaFourche Parish District Attorney’s office, proved DeJean committed simple battery against Burget on March 19, 2015. The battery occurred in Judge Kathy Johnson’s chambers following the mistrial of Perry Williams, who DeJean represented in court.
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LaFourche Assistant District Attorney Kristine Russell argued DeJean delivered two chest bumps and some force to Burget’s abdomen. Burget then took DeJean with his left hand and forced him to the floor.
Russell used testimony from Burget, Johnson, Assistant Seventh District Attorney Ann Siddall, judge’s assistant Julie Colclasure and court reporter Leona Paul to make her case.
The testimony differed, however, said defense attorney Kevin Stockstill, who called DeJean as the last witness of the day.
Siddall testified she was speaking to the judge when the altercation occurred behind her. Because of that, she only heard it.
Siddall said she heard some muttering between the two. DeJean yelled an expletive at Burget and then there was a thump and a crashing sound, she said. Siddall said she only saw the conclusion, with both of the attorneys crashing over the chairs.
Colclasure and Johnson, from different vantage points, both testified they only saw DeJean deliver one chest bump to Burget.
Paul said she did not see the event, but later said she heard DeJean say, “Sometimes you have to put two big bucks in a room and let them fight it out.”
Burget said DeJean called him an “expletive coward” before chest bumping him twice, the first time pinning him against the door and the second time trapping his right hand. Burget said he also felt pressure to his right abdomen during the second bump, as if he was being punched, but he could not see that.
Burget said with only his left hand available, he grabbed DeJean by the throat and pushed him away from him, where DeJean fell over some of the chairs in the judge’s chambers.
DeJean had been threatening him, Burget said, though Burget said he thought DeJean was speaking about defeating him in trial.
DeJean said Burget was the aggressor and he never touched the district attorney. DeJean said he had been getting under Burget’s skin since the Williams trial.
First, Burget couldn’t get the jury he wanted, DeJean said. Then, DeJean said he made a statement during the trial asking if Burget was so hard on criminals, why did he not prosecute his client on a 2011 charge?
During the March 19 chambers meeting, DeJean said he continued to call Burget’s credibility into question.
DeJean, though filing a motion to quash the mistrial ruling, was hoping for another trial and DeJean did say he said he would defeat Burget in court. DeJean said he also interrupted Burget multiple times and accused him of committing perjury with sheriff’s deputies.
From the witness’s stand, DeJean then stood up to explain that as they were leaving the judge’s chambers, with Siddall and Johnson talking behind them, Burget started turning purple and snapped as DeJean continued to instigate about embarrassing Burget’s office.
DeJean said he never touched Burget, but as he tried to walk by the district attorney, Burget grabbed him by the throat. DeJean said Burget yelled “this is my expletive town” until DeJean claims he lost his legs and fell into the chairs.
Stockstill argued to the judge in closing statements that Siddall almost wanted to tell the truth, but doesn’t want to say what she really saw because Burget employs her. It’s easier for her to say she didn’t see it, he argued.DeJean will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m., Aug. 2.Stockstill said he would appeal through a writ to a higher court.
DeJean has also filed a civil case against Burget alleging Burget was the aggressor. The civil case will be scheduled at a later date.