Bond remains the same for woman accused in fatal Causeway crash

Bond remains the same for woman accused in fatal Causeway crash

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Despite hearing from the widow of a man who was killed by an accused drunken driver on the Causeway, the bond for the accused will remain the same after a Wednesday morning hearing before Jefferson Parish Commissioner Paul Schneider.

The bond for Olivia Matte, 26, will remain at $126,000, but she will be required to wear an ankle bracelet and submit to random drug testing. The district attorney had sought to have her bond increased.

Matte was arrested last month after police say she rear-ended a truck on the Causeway, pushing the truck into the bridge's railing and killing the driver, James Blackmond. Blackmond's brother, who was a passenger in the truck, was injured.

Authorities said Matte's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. The crash was her third DWI offense in nine months.

Matte faces a charge of vehicular homicide. She is free on the $126,000 bond she

"Apparently, it's OK for her to kill somebody and get a slap on the wrist," said Queenita Blackmond, the widow of James Blackmond.

Queenita Blackmond believes a the commissioner should have raised Matte's bond.

"It's more like the judge was holding out on justice," she said.

In court, Matte's attorney, Ralph Whalen, told the commissioner that Matte's family has exhausted it's resources bonding her out the first time. He said an additional bond would simply put her in jail.

"For him to say the family is taxed out, what does that have to do with anything? My husband is dead and gone," Blackmond said.

Matte's attorney said bond is not meant to punish defendants.

"The only purpose of that bond is to make that defendant shows up at every court proceeding. Constitutionally, it can't be excessive, so all you need is enough to have them show up," Whalen said.

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