FOX 8 Investigates: D.A. terminates his Assistant District Attorney for violating office policy and misrepresenting information to a Judge
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A woman still lives in fear after a teenager carjacked her, beat her, and then ran over her last November.
“It’s troubling because I can’t go anywhere without thinking it’s going to happen again. I can’t,” says Diane Rogers.
Rogers recently found out Juvenile Judge Clinton Smith sentenced the suspect, Kyren Washington, to a program for five months and then probation as part of a plea deal. A plea deal she had no idea about until after the Judge’s ruling.
“The person responsible for notifying the victim was the ADA and the District Attorney’s office is essentially disciplining that ADA. So, not only did she violate office rules but she was untruthful to the Judge,” says Rafael Goyeneche.
District Attorney Jason Williams says the unidentified Assistant District Attorney was terminated.
Washington was originally booked with attempted murder but the D.A.’s office amended the charge to second-degree robbery, something the victim says she didn’t know about either.
“It’s attempted murder was what I was told. It’s gone from attempted murder to five months in boot camp and back out on the street. Would he do it again, who knows?” says Rogers.
It turns out, it’s not a boot camp at all.
Judge Smith told FOX 8, the plea deal for Washington was that he attend the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge program for 5 months and then probation.
FOX 8 reached out to program officials who say it’s not a court-ordered program, it’s an educational facility for at-risk youth with a “military style.”
While program leaders say it has a great success rate, they don’t accept violent offenders. Washington was accepted into the program, but it may have been under false pretenses.
According to a statement from the program, “Recently, YCP provisionally accepted Kyren Washington as a possible student based on incomplete information we received in the initial interview.”
“So, again, there’s another perplexing inaccuracy that’s been represented to the court. The judge probably should get to the bottom of what was done,” says Goyeneche.
Washington was supposed to show up for the program on June 6, but he didn’t. Washington now faces additional charges in another parish.
“It’s awful. It’s changed my whole outlook on the way the judicial system is here,” says Rogers.
D.A. Jason Williams released a statement regarding the ADA. It states, “After investigating everything that occurred in this matter, it is clear that the Chief of the Juvenile Division instructed and reminded this attorney to make contact with the victim regarding a potential resolution on 3 separate occasions. She failed to do so and misrepresented that she had, in fact, made contact. It is also clear that this attorney made misrepresentations to Judge Smith. The failure to communicate with Ms. Rogers on her own initiative and the willful ignoring of multiple direct requests from her supervisor, compounded by this misrepresentation to the court, leave me with no choice but to terminate this attorney.”
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