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Don Landry

Don Landry, the newly-elected district attorney for the 15th Judicial District, said Wednesday one of his top priorities is taking to trial a backlog of pending felony cases.

The 15th judicial district includes Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion parishes.

A native of Lafayette Parish, Landry, 73, captured 63% of the vote Tuesday to defeat First Assistant District Attorney Daniel Landry, no relation. Don Landry received 68% of the vote in Acadia and Vermilion parishes and 60% in Lafayette Parish.

Don Landry, who takes office in January, replacing retiring one-term District Attorney Keith Stutes, said he wants to speak with existing staff and the assistant district attorneys.

"I think we have some good people working there," he said. "I want to make sure they're on board with what I'd like to do," which is taking pending felony cases to trial "to bring closure to the victims and their families."

The new district attorney plans to meet regularly with law enforcement officials in all three parishes to address problems, particularly the serious drug problem. Don Landry said he's already met with Acadia and Vermilion Parish officials to discuss problems and has a good handle on the issues they're facing. He also plans to meet with district attorneys and other officials in surrounding parishes outside the 15th judicial district about the drug problem and drug dealers.

"We need to get those guys off the street," he said.

Don Landry noted that while he was celebrating his victory Tuesday night, he was told of three shootings in Acadiana, "which is terrible. We have to find a way to bring respect back."

The newly-elected DA earned his law degree at Southern University's law school in 1976 and went into private practice. He became an assistant district attorney under former DA Nathan Stansbury and remained under former DA Michael Harson. When Stutes became district attorney, he did not retain Don Landry.


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.