Natchez Mayor Found Not Guilty in Cloud of Silence

In Natchitoches Parish criminal court yesterday, a trial was held in the case against Nachez mayor, Rosia Humphery, who allegedly had some physical encounter with Parish Council Member Patsy Ward Hoover in May of 2020. Hoover, as victim, complained to law enforcement prompting the District Attorney’s Office to file charges against Humphery for misdemeanor simple battery. District Attorney B.J. Harrington quickly recused his office as prosecutor handing the case to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. *

After a year of continuances, the matter came to trial yesterday. When Hoover was called as the complaining witness, she refused to testify. When questioned by her attorney and by the prosecutor, Hoover refused to testify without giving any explanation why. Other witnesses subpoenaed but curiously were not called to testify by the prosecution included Sgt. David Dorsey, Lt. Brian Powell, Mohammed Bukar, and Monique Sarpy. Without Hoover’s testimony as the complaining witness and none of the subpoenaed witnesses called to the witness stand, the court had no option but to find Humphery not guilty.

Representing Humphery was her court-appointed lawyer, indigent defender Joshua Williams. The state was represented by Assistant Attorney General Darwin Miller.  Lala B. Sylvester was the presiding judge.

* The District Attorneys office represents the Natchitoches Parish Government/Council of which Patsy Ward Hoover is an elected member.  A conflict of interest for the DA’s office.

BACKGOUND/RECORD

Subpoenas Issued:
11/18/2021 MONIQUE, SARPY SUBPOENA
11/18/2021 DORSEY, SGT. DAVID SUBPOENA
11/18/2021 MOHAMMED, BUKAR SUBPOENA
11/18/2021 POWELL, LT. BRIAN K SUBPOENA

Court Events:
12/06/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL TRIAL HUMPHERY, ROSIA
10/25/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL TRIAL HUMPHERY, ROSIA
08/23/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL ARRAIGNMENT HUMPHERY, ROSIA
06/21/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL ARRAIGNMENT HUMPHERY, ROSIA
02/18/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL ARRAIGNMENT HUMPHERY, ROSIA
01/05/2021 09:00 AM CRIMINAL ARRAIGNMENT HUMPHERY, ROSIA

CHARGE

1.1 – SIMP BATTERY WILLFULLY, UNLAWFULLY AND INTENTIONALLY COMMIT A BATTERY UPON PATSY HOOVER – 05/22/2020

October 25, 2021

CRIMINAL TRIAL Mr. Darwin Miller, Assistant Attorney General, was present representing the State. The defendant was not present. Mr. Miller advised the Court that a continuance has been signed in this matter. The Court advised Mr. Miller that it was notified by his office last week that they would not be here today. The Court advised that it would not have let Ms. Humphrey go today if it had known he was going to be here. Mr. Miller advised the Court that he understands. (AFTER OTHER MATTERS HAD BEEN HEARD, THIS MATTER WAS BROUGHT BACK BEFORE THE COURT.) Mr. Darwin Miller, Assistant Attorney General, was not present. The defendant was present. COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT THIS MATTER HAS BEEN CONTINUED TO DECEMBER 6, 2021. The defendant signed the notice and was give her copy.

August 23, 2021

ARRAIGNMENT Ms. Michelle Thompson, Assistant Attorney General, was present via Zoom representing the State. The defendant was present in the courtroom with defense counsel, Ms. Kathryn Cooper, standing in for arraignment purposes only. The defendant was arraigned by the Court. Ms. Cooper entered a plea of not guilty to the charge(s). BY THE COURT: THE COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT HER TRIAL IS SET FOR OCTOBER 25, 2021 AT 9:00 A.M. THE COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT SHE MUST BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT AT THAT TIME AND IF SHE FAILS TO APPEAR A BENCH WARRANT WILL BE ISSUED FOR HER ARREST. THE COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT THE BAILIFF WILL GIVE HER WRITTEN NOTICE OF HER COURT DATE AND SHE NEEDS TO SIGN INDICATING THAT SHE HAS RECEIVED HER NOTICE. THE COURT ORDERED THE DEFENDANT TO GO TO THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE SO A LAWYER CAN BE APPOINTED FOR HER. The defendant signed the notice and was given her copy.

June 21, 2021

ARRAIGNMENT No one was present from the Attorney General’s Office, for the State. The defendant was present in proper person. BY THE COURT: THIS MATTER IS CONTINUED TO AUGUST 23, 2021 BY A MOTION TO CONTINUE FILED BY THE A.G.’S OFFICE.

February 18, 2021

ARRAIGNMENT (COURT WAS NOT HELD ON FEBRUARY 18, 2021 DUE TO SNOW/ICE ON ROADS. THIS MATTER WAS HEARD ON MARCH 1, 2021) The Assistant Attorney General was not present for the State. The defendant was not present. BY THE COURT: THIS MATTER HAS BEEN RESET. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE SENT A MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE BUT IT APPEARS TO HAVE THE WRONG DATE ON IT. THE COURT ADVISED THAT IT HAS NOT SIGNED IT YET.

January 5, 2021

ARRAIGNMENT The Assistant Attorney General was not present. The defendant was present in proper person. BY THE COURT: THE COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT IT HAS A FAX FROM THE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL THAT IS HANDLING THIS MATTER. THE COURT ADVISED THAT THE ORIGINAL WAS FILED IN THE CLERK’S OFFICE YESTERDAY BUT THE COURT HAS NOT SIGNED IT YET. THE COURT ADVISED THE DEFENDANT THAT THE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS COVID AND CANNOT BE HERE TODAY. THE COURT ADVISED THAT IT WILL HAVE TO RESET HER ARRAIGNMENT FOR FEBRUARY 18, 2021 AT 9:00 A.M. The defendant signed the notice and was given her copy.


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