Cameron Sterling

Cameron Sterling

A lawyer for one of Alton Sterling's sons, who has been jailed since late 2018 on a $100,000 bond after an allegation that he had raped an 8-year-old boy, asked a judge Thursday to lower the bond so he can be released and receive more mental health treatment.

The judge denied the request for the time being, saying not enough material was presented to him.

Cameron Sterling, 19, was arrested on a first-degree rape count in December 2018, but he has not been formally charged because the case was put on hold pending psychological evaluations.

State District Judge Ron Johnson declared Sterling competent to proceed Wednesday. His twin brother, state District Judge Don Johnson, had declared Sterling incompetent to proceed in late 2018 and also set the $100,000 bond that Ron Johnson is now being asked to reduce.

Dedrick Moore, one of Sterling's attorneys, argued Thursday that the victim of the alleged rape no longer lives in Louisiana, and he said Sterling would be watched by his grandmother if he is able to post bond.

Sterling is accused of raping the boy while he was babysitting the child.

"We do not feel he's a continued threat to society," Moore argued, asking Ron Johnson to set a $40,000 bond.

Prosecutor Larry McAlpine objected to any bond reduction, saying the amount set by Don Johnson is appropriate for the seriousness of the alleged offense. If the bond is reduced, McAlpine argued that conditions should be attached.

Ron Johnson said not enough material was presented to him to make a decision Thursday.

"I need more information from you concerning the appropriate level of supervision, care and treatment," he told Moore.

The judge suggested supervision through a monitoring company would be a requirement. A curfew or house arrest also are possible options, he added.

Now that Sterling's competency has been restored following treatment at the state mental hospital in Jackson, McAlpine told the judge that the case will be presented to a grand jury in the next 30 to 45 days.

Moore said he expects to return to Ron Johnson's courtroom to present the additional information the judge requested.

Sterling's father, Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot in 2016 while two Baton Rouge police officers tried to arrest the elder Sterling outside a North Foster Drive convenience store.

The shooting was captured on video and shared on social media, and sparked protests in Baton Rouge and across the country.

Blane Salamoni, the officer who shot Sterling six times during a brief struggle, was fired but later allowed to resign. The other officer, Howie Lake II, was suspended for three days.

They had responded to a complaint that a man matching Alton Sterling's description was selling CDs outside the store and had threatened someone with a gun. A loaded handgun was found in Alton Sterling's pocket.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council is set to consider a $5 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit against local leaders filed on behalf of Alton Sterling's five children.

The measure is scheduled to appear for a vote before the council on Aug. 26 — when officials hope the public would be able to offer their comments in-person, if the state allows further reopening in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

If approved, the measure would authorize the Parish Attorney's Office to offer the settlement to Sterling's family with dollars appropriated from the city-parish's Insurance Reserve Funds.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.