A Crowley husband and wife who are both well-known attorneys were charged this week with allegedly threatening and arguing with police after the officers responded to a 911 call by a neighbor reporting a girl possibly yelling for help.
J. Clay LeJeune, 45, was indicted on three counts of public intimidation, accused of threatening officers with the Crowley Police Department, and two counts of resisting a police officer with force or violence.
His wife, Mitzi Mayeaux, 40, faces a charge of public intimidation.
The state Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, and Crowley Police Chief K.P. Gibson provided little information on the specifics of incident.
“We put our faith in the courts to handle it accordingly,” Gibson said.
The couple’s attorney, Barry Sallinger, said police on May 25 kicked in the unlocked door of the couple’s large Victorian home on North Avenue G when responding to a 911 call reporting that a girl or woman in the backyard might have been screaming “help me.”
The girl, the couple’s teenage daughter, was actually yelling “daddy,” calling her father to come help her capture the family’s Yorkshire terrier after the dog escaped from an electronic fence, Sallinger said.
He said the 911 caller also commented that “it may be nothing” and he said police should have investigated further before deciding to “crash through the front door of a residence where its occupants were readying the table for a Sunday meal.”
“The indictments come on the heels of a home invasion and how a good family reacted to it,” Sallinger said. “The LeJeune family will aggressively fight to demonstrate their absolute innocence and the restoration of their civil rights as would any American family.”
The couple also has retained attorney Clay Burgess, who said Thursday that he plans to file a federal lawsuit alleging wrongful home invasion, violation of privacy and excessive force.
Burgess said there also was a prior incident involving the wrongful invasion of the couple’s property by police that will be included in the lawsuit, but he declined to discuss the details before the lawsuit is filed.
LeJeune is active in the local Rotary Club and lost by only six votes in a bid for the Crowley Board of Aldermen in 2010.
He was one at the defense attorneys for Brandon Scott Lavergne in the death of Mickey Shunick, a 21-year-old University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who disappeared while riding her bicycle home from downtown Lafayette in 2012.
The high-profile murder case ended a few months after Lavergne’s arrest when he led authorities to Shunick’s body, then pleaded guilty in a deal that spared him the death penalty but sent him to prison for life.
Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.