Second judge decides not to revoke or increase Olivia Matte's bond after 3rd DWI

Judge decides not to revoke or increase Olivia Matte's bond after 3rd DWI

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - "I'm angry, but I'm trying to keep composure because it's not right," Queenita Blackmond said.

James Blackmond's widow became emotional and stormed out of the courtroom Monday morning. She was upset that a second judge, this time Judge Reginald Badeaux of the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany Parish, refused to revoke or increase bond for Olivia Matte, the woman accused of killing a man on the Causeway in her third DWI.

"It's like you're slapping her on the wrist and telling her it's alright to kill a human being," Blackmond said.

Just last week, Jefferson Parish Commissioner Paul Schneider refused to increase Matte's bond.

Police said last month Matte was driving drunk when she rear-ended James Blackmond's truck on the Causeway. Investigators said she hit the truck so hard that it was pushed on top of the guard rail. The railing broke off and pierced the windshield, killing Blackmond instantly.

It was Matte's third DWI in nine months.

She was arrested in St. Tammany Parish back in December and her license was suspended. The St. Tammany Parish D.A. sought to have the judge revoke or increase Matte's bond based on the fact that she violated the bond in that open case.

Her attorney, Ralph Whalen, argued that Matte is already wearing a SCRAM bracelet, which is technology used to test for alcohol consumption. And he also noted that she's living with her parents. Whalen they suggested that media attention is fueling the recent hearings to increase Matte's bond.

"I think there's some sensitivity on behalf of the prosecutors' office that caused them to ask for changes in the bond conditions which clearly were not necessary since she's appearing voluntarily at every stage," Whalen said.

The St. Tammany judge did not revoke or increase the bond. He instead ordered her on house arrest with a 6 p.m. curfew.

"It's not alright because she took my husband. But then you walk around like you're all good. And for the justice system to uphold her, it's another slap in the face," Blackmond said.

"I think it's surprising that the judge did not increase the bond at all," said attorney Robert Hjortsberg.

Hjortsberg told FOX 8 that Matte is clearly showing a pattern of behavior.

"One of the main things that they take into consideration when they're deciding whether or not to increase a bond is if you're a danger to society. I think she's made it very clear with three DWIs in nine months, she's got a problem," Hjortsberg said.

Blackmond said she knows there will be more court dates for Matte in the future.

"I'm not going away. I'm going to be right here, same place, same time, if I have to be. Justice will be served in this case," she said.

Matte has a pre-trial hearing in Jefferson Parish on June 2.

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