Covering Louisiana

Jun 1, 2012 12:33 PM by AP

Deputy asks again for trial split from sheriff

MONROE, La. (AP) - Ouachita Parish sheriff's Maj. Michael Karl Davis has asked a federal judge to reconsider his motion to have his trial severed from that of Sheriff Royce Toney.

The News-Star reports Davis' attorney, Charles Kincade, filed an objection Wednesday to Toney's motion to continue the trial date because it will also change Davis' trial date, which is set for July.

Toney recently filed a motion asking for a continuance of his trial so he can have more time to settle discovery disputes and pending pretrial motions.

In Davis' response in objection of Toney's motion, he urges the judge to once again consider his motion to sever the pair's trials so Davis' trial can go ahead as planned and have no impact on Toney's motion to continue.

U.S. District Judge Robert James denied Davis' motion to sever in April.

Davis, who was arrested in October, and Toney, who was arrested in February, were indicted on charges of conspiracy, computer fraud, identity theft and obstruction. They pleaded not guilty to all charges at their arraignment in March.

The 21-count indictment alleges that Toney and Davis engaged in a conspiracy to track a third party's communications and, once Davis learned that the FBI wanted to speak with him, he tried to cover up the illegal activity. The indictment further alleges that Toney and Davis accessed a protected computer without authorization on nine occasions from April 2010 to October 2010, and that Toney and Davis committed the crime of identity theft by using an AOL email address and password belonging to Kim Leija, Toney's former chief of staff.

Toney and Davis are charged with one count of obstruction, accused of reformatting and installing a new operating system on a computer after Davis learned of the ongoing FBI investigation.

Toney is additionally charged with obstruction by retaliating against Col. Marc Mashaw, a witness who was cooperating with the FBI investigation.

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