The Acadiana High School mother who posted a video of a fight last week on the school's campus won't be prosecuted, Keith Stutes, district attorney for the 15th Judicial District, said Tuesday.
Stutes said his office refused the charge because "the circumstances do not support the proof necessary to establish all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt."
Maegan Adkins-Barras, 32, spent a night in jail for unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity after she posted a video to Facebook of a fight her son captured at Acadiana High in Lafayette.
There was widespread speculation that Adkins-Barras' civil rights may have been violated after her Feb. 20 arrest because the law she was charged with breaking appears to only apply to someone who was involved in the criminal activity that was the focus of the video.
The Scott Police Department sent its report Tuesday morning to the DA's office concerning the controversial arrest.
According to Stutes, "The spirit and the letter of the offense require the person to be charged to be either a principal or accessory to the crime contained in the images obtained by an image recording device."
Adkins-Barras issued a statement Tuesday after the DA announced he would not pursue the case.
"Thank you for all the support and well wishes," she said in the statement. "I'm grateful for the work of my attorneys and the cooperation of the district attorney's office in their decision to refuse the charges."
Adkins-Barras is represented by Lafayette lawyers Kevin Stockstill and L. Clayton Burgess and California lawyer Brian Carlin. Her attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening.
Franz Borghardt, a criminal defense attorney who has taught criminal litigation at the LSU Law School, wasn't surprised that the district attorney's office isn't prosecuting.
"There were a lot of issues with this case," Borghardt said. "Whether the facts don't fit the crime or they just have bigger cases they want to focus on, this was the right decision."
The Feb. 19 fight between two students at Acadiana High resulted in one student being taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The students have not been identified because of their ages, but both were recommended for expulsion and are facing criminal charges, according to police and the Lafayette Parish School Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
Adkins-Barras' child shot video of the fight but was not otherwise involved, according to Scott Police Chief Chad Leger. The child sent the video to his mother, who posted it to social media.
An Acadiana High school resource officer contacted Adkins-Barras when he learned of the video’s existence and arrested the mom even after she removed the video from Facebook, according to the arrest affidavit.
"I think this is an example of swift justice," Borghardt said. "Whatever justice means, fortunately for her, she's not going to have to waste the money and resources fighting something that never should have happened in the first place."
Leger did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, the police chief said he wasn't worried about the possibility of a civil rights lawsuit.
"Anybody can sue anybody for anything these days," Leger said during a Thursday interview. "Is it something that concerns me? No. Is it something that can happen? Yes."