Walter Reed has been excused from a federal civil suit filed by an Arkansas man who alleged that the former district attorney had him jailed indefinitely because he spoke with the FBI about Reed’s activities.
In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle agreed with Reed’s lawyer, Rick Simmons, that the suit by Roger Magee failed to state a valid claim for action against Reed, who served as DA for St. Tammany and Washington parishes for 30 years.
Magee’s suit claimed that he was kept in the Washington Parish lockup for nearly 100 days on what was described as a “DA hold.” Magee was arrested by deputies from the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office on charges that he failed to pay his child support. His ex-wife lives in Washington Parish.
But Magee’s suit alleges the real reason for his arrest was that he had provided the FBI with unspecified information about Reed and Franklinton pastor Jerry Wayne Cox. The suit claims that Cox confronted Magee about his talks with the feds, warning him that if he came into Louisiana, “Reed will handle you!”
Reed and Cox have both been charged with crimes in federal court since Magee filed his suit, although it’s not clear that any of the information Magee claims he provided to the FBI figures into those charges.
Magee’s lawsuit, filed last year, also targets Cox, Washington Parish Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal, and a number of Washington Parish sheriff’s deputies. To date, Reed is the only one to have the claims against him dismissed.
Lemelle’s ruling did not take a position on whether any of Magee’s claims were true.
The dismissal of Magee’s claims against Reed came on the same day that Cox was due in federal court to be arraigned on a charge of structuring.
Cox entered a not-guilty plea, but his lawyer, Eddie Castaing, said he intends to plead guilty to the crime.