About a dozen law enforcement agents, ranging from New Orleans police officers to State Police and FBI agents, waited in the courtroom of ad hoc Criminal District Court Judge Dennis Waldron on Friday after being subpoenaed to testify in a hearing for suspected Bourbon Street shooter Trung Le.
They never took the stand.
The second part of a bond hearing that began last week was postponed after Le’s attorney, Martin Regan, successfully requested that Waldron recuse himself.
Regan said that after reviewing a supplemental homicide report, he realized the judge’s son, an NOPD homicide detective, had transported Le from Mississippi to New Orleans after his arrest and extradition from Mississippi.
Regan said the relationship could create “the appearance of impropriety,” and Waldron agreed.
“I feel bad that I didn’t mention it,” Waldron said, adding that he never discussed the case with his son. “I will grant the request and recuse myself.”
Waldron, who has temporarily replaced Judge Julian Parker, who is ill, stressed that the relationship with his son never affected any of his past rulings.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Rodrigue objected to Regan’s request, saying she believed Waldron was fully capable of being fair and impartial and noting that he was only ruling on a bond request and not overseeing the trial.
There is no indication that Judge Waldron’s son, Andrew Waldron, had any involvement in the case besides transferring Le from Mississippi to New Orleans.
Le was arrested July 4 near Gulfport.
He has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter in the June 29 shootout on Bourbon Street that killed 21-year-old Brittany Thomas and wounded nine others.
Regan has claimed that his client fired his 9mm gun only after another man pointed a gun at Le and his friends and that Le did not fire the bullet that killed Thomas.
Le is being held on $1.5 million bail.
The hearing was rescheduled for Sept. 19 before an undetermined Criminal District Court judge.