Legal analyst explains bond issue for woman accused in DWI fatality on Causeway

DAs seek bond modification for Matte

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - District attorneys in St. Tammany and Jefferson parishes have now filed motions to increase or revoke bond for a woman accused of killing a man on the Causeway in her third DWI offense.

Olivia Matte got out of jail March 24 on a $126,000 bond. Her second DWI occurred in St. Tammany in December 2015; her third occurred March 23 on the bridge in Jefferson Parish.

"I think St. Tammany is pretty clear-cut. She's out on bond on a DWI. When they tell you don't commit a crime especially don't drink and drive again - which it looks like she did - so their increasing of the bond is pretty straightforward and a no-brainer," FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said.

Raspanti said while the initial bond just over $125,000 may not seem like enough, for some people it's not uncommon.

"Some people don't like the level of a bond because of the amount of notoriety that comes with it, but if people would be in court day in and day out, there's a certain normalcy to what bonds are, and I think that is what's going on here. Just because of the publicity, people are looking at this through a different prism," Raspanti said.

Matte, 26, was booked with vehicular homicide, third-offense DWI, driving on a suspended license, failure to maintain control of a vehicle and vehicular negligent injuring. The crash killed James Blackmon of Mississippi.

Matte's blood-alcohol was almost three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to police.

Raspanti said while there aren't new facts in the case, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. can seek to increase Matte's bond.

"They have every right to do that based upon whatever reason they want and a judge ultimately has the discretion to increase, decrease, or revoke her bond," Raspanti said.

In his motion, Connick also requested Matte submit to pre-trial drug testing.

Raspanti said even if Matte finds herself back in jail, it might be better to wait behind bars, instead of attempting to bond out again.

"Sometimes the better advice is you're going to be doing a little jail time on this so you might as well get it done, not paying for temporary freedom only to have to go back to jail again. I don't know if that's gonna be the case here or not, but sometimes it is," Raspanti said.

Both motions will be heard by separate judges, which means Matte will likely appear in court on both sides of the lake. A date to hear the motions has not been set.

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