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Analysis: Jury rejected Walter Reed’s credibility, and believed subordinate who said DA wanted him to lie

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former St. Tammany/Washington parish District Attorney Walter Reed leaves federal court in New Orleans after being arraigned on an 18 count indictment Monday, May 4, 2015.

When the jury in Walter Reed’s 11-day corruption trial returned with a verdict about four hours after receiving the case Monday afternoon, observers and participants alike were caught by surprise. Former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg said he had never seen such a quick verdict following a two-week corruption case. Reed told reporters later that a short… Continue reading →

Exclusive: In 911 call, hysterical Kacie Breen begs for help after shooting husband at north shore home

Photo provided by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office - - The garage of Kacie and Wayne Breen's Folsom-area home where Kacie shot and killed her husband on March 1, 2015.

A hysterical Kacie Breen dialed 911 moments after she twice shot her husband Wayne, screaming and begging for help as she held a shirt to his wounds and told operators that he wasn’t breathing. The recording of Breen’s 911 call, released this past week in response to a public-records request from The New Orleans Advocate, does… Continue reading →

In Walter Reed trial, former aides come to ex-DA's defense

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former St. Tammany/Washington parish District Attorney Walter Reed leaves federal court in New Orleans after being arraigned on an 18 count indictment Monday, May 4, 2015.

Walter Reed’s defense team called two of his closest aides from the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office to the stand Thursday, hoping to cast doubt on government claims that Reed funneled money from his campaign fund to his son Steven and on other arguments in the government’s 19-count cases against the former district attorney. Bart Pepperman,… Continue reading →

Slidell-area man killed in apparent lightning strike Wednesday

Wednesday’s severe storms on the north shore claimed the life of a Slidell-area man, according to St. Tammany Parish Coroner Charles Preston. Elvin Arturo Castro-Santiago, 36, was working on a construction site on East End Boulevard south of Slidell when lightning struck him, Preston said in a news release. Castro-Santiago was taken to a hospital,… Continue reading →

Walter Reed’s defense team produces important letter concerning his deal with public hospital

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former St. Tammany/Washington parish DA Walter Reed arrives at federal court Wednesday where his trial is continuing.

Opening their defense of Walter Reed, his attorneys on Wednesday zeroed in on the former north shore district attorney’s relationship with St. Tammany Parish Hospital, taking aim at the government’s contention that Reed pocketed money from the hospital that was meant for his office. One of the main legs of the government’s case against Reed, presented… Continue reading →

Walter Reed lied on tax returns, prosecution argues as it rests case against ex-north shore DA, his son

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Former St. Tammany DA Walter Reed enters the Hale Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

After six days of testimony aimed at showing former north shore District Attorney Walter Reed pocketed public money and used campaign funds to entertain family, woo private law clients and financially prop up his son and co-defendant Steven Reed, federal prosecutors rested their case Tuesday afternoon. The public corruption trial, which began April 18, will resume… Continue reading →

Tulane Primate Research Center regains permit to work with dangerous biological agents

Advocate file photo by Richard Alan Hannon --  A rhesus macaques monkey stares out at a visitor from its cage at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington in 2004.

Officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reinstated Tulane University’s permit to work with dangerous biological agents, more than a year after the permit was suspended when three monkeys at the university’s Covington-area research center were infected with potentially deadly Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria. Tulane announced the reinstatement Monday but said… Continue reading →

Day 6 of Walter Reed trial: Preacher testifies he referred clients to private law firm of Reed, who paid for dinners, fixed tickets

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Former St. Tammany DA Walter Reed enters the Hale Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

Jerry Wayne Cox, a Pentecostal preacher whose Franklinton church got a $25,000 payment from former north shore District Attorney Walter Reed’s campaign fund, testified in federal court Monday that he referred seven to 10 personal-injury cases to Reed, who also had a private law practice. But when Cox sought a donation for his church’s gym building… Continue reading →

Fifth day of Walter Reed trial focuses on hospital contract, meals charged to campaign account

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former St. Tammany/Washington parish DA Walter Reed arrives at federal court Wednesday where his trial is continuing.

Federal prosecutors zeroed in on Walter Reed’s arrangement to serve as outside legal counsel for St. Tammany Parish Hospital as well as his campaign expenditures on Friday, the fifth day of the former north shore district attorney’s federal corruption trial. Seesawing between the two topics, prosecutors called more than a dozen witnesses, including hospital… Continue reading →

Suicides of 2 Mandeville High students rattle community; officials urge parents to look for warning signs

The suicides of two students at Mandeville High School this week rattled many north shore residents, with parents grappling with how to prevent such tragedies and school officials scrambling to help other students deal with the loss. While suicides overall are down this year in St. Tammany Parish, according to Lynette Savoie, of St.… Continue reading →

Mandeville man booked after sending video of young girls

An 18-year old Mandeville man was booked Wednesday on indecent behavior and child pornography counts after he allegedly sent video of himself having sex with two 14-year olds to other people, police said. Stiles Patrick King, of Mead Court in Mandeville, was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail, where he remained Thursday afternoon. The incident… Continue reading →

Center of case: Prosecutors again focus on financial transactions between Walter Reed, his son

Prosecutors on Thursday continued to dissect business dealings between Walter Reed and his son Steven, calling a District Attorney’s Office staffer who worked on Walter Reed’s campaign events to the stand in federal court along with the younger Reed’s accountant. Much of the corruption case against Walter Reed, the former longtime district attorney in the… Continue reading →

On Day 3 of Walter Reed trial, witnesses describe payments to son from campaign fund

Two business owners involved with a 2012 fundraising event for then-22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed testified in federal court Wednesday that they paid Reed’s son, Steven, $5,000 each at the behest of his father. Cayman Sinclair, a caterer, and events producer Edward White took the stand on the corruption trial’s third day. Both said they… Continue reading →

Abita Springs day care loses license after toddlers wander onto Main Street

An Abita Springs day care center had its license revoked Tuesday after a group of toddlers was found wandering in a busy street outside the facility and a subsequent inspection revealed further problems, state officials said. A passing driver spotted the four toddlers April 7. They were roaming along Main Street in Abita Springs outside the… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish will hire lawyers to fight lawsuit over lawyers

Pat Brister Candidate president St. Tammany arish

Attorneys fighting attorneys over attorneys: That’s the state of St. Tammany Parish politics at the moment. Last week, District Attorney Warren Montgomery filed suit against the parish president and council over who should control the parish government’s legal representation. President Pat Brister and a majority of the St. Tammany Parish Council think their… Continue reading →

Walter Reed trial starts with questions about Castine Center event, expensive video

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Former St. Tammany Parish D.A. Walter Reed walks into the Hale Boggs Federal Building and Courthouse for the beginning of his federal corruption trial in New Orleans, Monday April 18, 2016.

Testimony in Walter and Steven Reed’s public corruption trial Tuesday sometimes seemed like a word problem from a math textbook, as lawyers peppered witnesses with questions about head counts at a political fundraiser held at the Castine Center and the formula used to determine how much booze was needed to quench the thirst of donors. The… Continue reading →

Prosecution: Ex-St. Tammany DA Walter Reed greedy, corrupt; defense: he merely engaged in politics

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Former St. Tammany Parish D.A. Walter Reed walks into the Hale Boggs Federal Building and Courthouse for the beginning of his federal corruption trial in New Orleans, Monday April 18, 2016.

Walter Reed was elected six times to serve the people of St. Tammany and Washington parishes as district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg told the jury in the public corruption trial that began Monday. But for at least the past 10 years, the federal prosecutor said, Reed chose to serve himself.… Continue reading →

Ex-St. Tammany DA Walter Reed’s trial to begin Monday; find out possible strategies, projected timetable, more

Walter Reed spent his life putting people behind bars: first as a New Orleans cop, then as a federal prosecutor and finally, for more than 30 years, as a powerful district attorney, the top law enforcement official for two north shore parishes, including one that he proudly called “St. Slammany” for its tough-on-crime stance. But when he enters U.S. District Judge… Continue reading →

St. Tammany DA sues parish officials in dispute over legal counsel

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  New 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery shares a laugh with his wife, Valarie Montgomery, during his swearing-in ceremony Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, at the St. Tammany Justice Center in Covington.

St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery sued the parish government Monday, deepening a long-running rift over who controls the parish’s legal counsel. The suit, filed Monday in 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington, is the culmination of a dispute between Montgomery and parish officials that began soon after Montgomery took office early last year.… Continue reading →

St. Tammany voters likely to be asked again to approve 2 tax renewals defeated Saturday

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain shut down a work-release program Thursday, March 13, 2014,  and returned the inmates to jail after an inmate escaped from the program early Thursday, kidnapped his girlfriend and led Tangipahoa authorities on a chase before wrecking his car and running away.

St. Tammany Parish voters may have soundly rejected two proposed quarter-cent sales tax renewals for operating the parish jail and courthouse, but that doesn’t mean the taxes are going away. For one thing, neither expires until 2018. In addition, two key officials — Parish President Pat Brister and Sheriff-elect Randy Smith — said they… Continue reading →

Covington police book accused drug dealer on murder count after teen’s death from ‘mojo’

Jarbari Pea (Photo provided by Covington Police Department)

Covington police have arrested a 22-year-old man accused of selling synthetic marijuana, or mojo, that killed a teenager in March. Police Chief Tim Lentz said Monday that Jabari Pea was booked Friday on a count of second-degree murder under a state law that allows police to go after drug dealers whose products cause… Continue reading →

19-year-old driver ejected from vehicle, killed in crash early Monday in St. Tammany Parish

A 19-year-old Covington man died early Monday after a single-vehicle crash in St. Tammany Parish, officials said. Around 6:30 a.m. Monday, Morgan Hunt, 19, of Covington, was driving a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder westbound on La. 40 west of La. 1082 in Bush. For unknown reasons, Hunt’s vehicle went off the roadway, hitting a culvert and several trees, Louisiana State Police said. Hunt… Continue reading →

Voters overwhelmingly reject two Tammany sales tax proposals

Update 10:20 p.m. Despite the best efforts of local officials like Parish President Pat Brister and Sheriff-elect Randy Smith, voters soundly defeated two quarter cent sales taxes that would have supported the parish’s jail and courthouse. With all 158 precincts reporting, the sales tax to support the parish’s jail earned only 40 percent of the approximately… Continue reading →

Keller defeates Burguières in race for Mandeville Council seat

Update 9:40 p.m.: With all nine precincts reporting, challenger John Keller has defeated one term incumbent Ernest Burguières for a seat on the Mandeville City Council, according to complete but unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s website. Keller earned 567 votes to 375 for Burguières in the district, which encompasses the part of the… Continue reading →

Judge won’t move, delay Reed trial

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former St. Tammany/Washington parish District Attorney Walter Reed leaves federal court in New Orleans after being arraigned on an 18 count indictment Monday, May 4, 2015.

A federal judge has denied last-ditch motions to move or delay former 22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed’s corruption trial, slated to begin April 18. Judge Eldon Fallon issued his decision Friday afternoon following a hearing late Thursday. In his ruling, Fallon said attorneys for Walter Reed and his son Steven Reed had not presented… Continue reading →

Kacie Breen won’t face criminal charges in fatal shooting of husband, a popular St. Tammany doctor

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Kacie Breen, right, leaves court with her attorney, Richard Ducote, following a succession hearing for her late husband, Dr. Wayne Breen, Thursday, June 18, 2015, at the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center in Covington. Kacie Breen said she shot her husband March 1, after the two argued and she feared for her life. The case is under investigation by the St. Tammany Sheriffs Office.

Ending more than a year of speculation, a St. Tammany Parish grand jury on Thursday refused to indict Kacie Breen for fatally shooting her husband, Wayne Breen, in the garage of the couple’s Folsom-area home in the early morning hours of March 1, 2015. Kacie Breen has never denied shooting her husband, a popular local doctor,… Continue reading →