DA to review charges against man who allegedly attacked judge's husband

DA to review charges against man who allegedly attacked judge's husband

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish district attorney's office has decided to step in and review a case involving an attack on the husband of Criminal Court judge at a French Quarter home.

The decision comes after Judge Laurie White criticized police for booking the alleged attacker with a misdemeanor, which led to his release on a $500 bond.

As it turns out, the suspect, Joshua Stemle, is a lawyer from Alabama.

"I'm not a dummy," White said. "I know all the options."

White points out that a Lakeview man got far worse this week, booked with a felony and a $5,000 bond for shooting a possum.

"I think it's a great analogy a possum's life is worth more than a man who gets beaten on by an intruder," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. "I think we have to weigh things a little better."

On Thursday, the DA's office asked the city attorney to step aside so that it could consider felony charges against Stemle, an attorney who works for a firm run by an attorney known as "The Alabama Hammer."

"This should be felony charges, and this guy is a lawyer," Raspanti said. "I think the Alabama Bar Association will have a good time with this too."

Cases being undercharged by the NOPD are a common complaint, and all citizens - not just judges - have recourse.

"Any citizen can do this, and the DA will listen to anybody, but because they had the video, that's the reason they made the noise," Raspanti said.

This isn't the first time White accuses the NOPD of undercharging a perpetrator in her home. Two years ago, home video captured a man breaking in and stealing hundreds of dollars worth of valuables in a case that White said was not pursued as a burglary.

"The person broke in and stayed for three hours, drank beer, took all kinds of things, and that person was charged with a lesser charge," White said.

On Thursday afternoon, the city attorney granted the DA's request and stepped aside, meaning the DA will now consider felony charges against Stemle.

"This guy was trying to get into their house," Raspanti said. "He was swinging, he doing his Rocky Balboa imitation. That's not a municipal charge."

A DA spokesman said a new review of the case is about to begin, and Judge White said she's grateful.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.