By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |
Saying she was confused by the facts at hand, a New Orleans judge today did not dismiss charges and set a trial date for two people accused of disturbing the peace at a raucous, unpermitted Eris parade in Faubourg Marigny during Carnival, which was broken up by Taser-firing police.
Two of the 12 people charged in the melee have argued that the charge is vague — with eight possible actions that could fit — and wanted the District Attorney’s Office to make clear exactly what they did wrong. If prosecutors couldn’t do that, the pair wanted a Criminal District Court judge to dismiss the charges.
Ron Morrison, 24, and Jonathan Cromwell, 30, filed the motions to quash last week.
Attorney John Adcock filed motions June 27, asking prosecutors to be more specific. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office responded July 18, saying that Morrison and Cromwell could be guilty of four of the possible eight violations under the law. The subsequent motions to quash argue the state needs to be still more specific, saying precisely which violation or violations the defendants are accused of.
But the District Attorney’s Office remained firm today.
“The reason we have had to highlight four is that it’s the state’s position that the defendants are accused of violation all four,” said Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly.
Adcock argued that the state continues to be vague.
“If they’re saying my clients are accused of violent and tumultuous behavior with more than three people, then I need to meet these people and interview them,” Adcock said. “If they are arguing that my clients caused alarm to the public, then I need to interview the members of the public who supposedly felt alarm.”
Judge Robin Pittman asked Adcock to file follow-up papers to more clearly explain his position.
“You are confusing the court,” Pittman said. “Maybe you need to revise your request and make it specific enough so that the state and the court can understand exactly what it is you’re looking for.”
The case is set for trial on Sept. 23. Adcock and the District Attorney’s Office declined comment.