Assistant DA files motion to recuse judge from criminal case

Judge Lori Landry

The first assistant district attorney for the 16th Judicial District has filed a motion to recuse a district judge from a criminal case — and potentially any future criminal cases — based on what the motion describes as the judge’s bias and prejudice against the district attorney’s office.

In the 27-page motion, First Assistant District Attorney Rob Vines said 16th District Court Judge Lori Landry “is biased or prejudiced against this office such that she cannot be fair or impartial.”

After laying out the case law in support of the motion, Vines describes 36 separate incidents in which he said Landry:

Said prosecutors from the district attorney’s office incarcerated African-Americans more severely and at a higher rate than others, have improper motivations and engaged in “trickery.”

Engaged in abusive, inappropriate and bullying behavior towards the prosecutors and staff,

Threatened to stab an assistant district attorney in the ear with an ink pen,

Physically intimidated an assistant district attorney for a perceived slight,

Blamed a victim’s family for “allowing” their children to be victimized,

Repeatedly engaged in in-court behavior calculated to humiliate prosecutors, and

Refused to fairly and impartially apply the law.

If the recusal order is granted, it could lead to future requests for Landry to be recused in criminal cases in which the 16th Judicial Court District Attorney’s Office is leading the prosecution.

Many of the comments Vines cited in his motion have Landry claiming the District Attorney’s Office “knew or should have known” of irregularities in the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office prior to the federal convictions of nine officers in 2016.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” Landry said, according to Vines.

“Filing a motion to recuse a judge on the grounds of bias is always a step to be taken with great deliberation,” Vines wrote in his conclusion. “All that the District Attorney’s Office wants is what it is entitled to — a judge who fairly and impartially applies the law to the facts before her and who treats attorneys, staff, witnesses, victims, defendants, and the public with respect.”

The motion, filed Tuesday afternoon, has not yet been assigned a hearing date. A call to 16th Judicial Court District Attorney Bo Duhé for comment was not returned.

Load comments