Apr 12, 2013 10:40 PM by KATC Staff

Was Wade Lohse A Flight Risk From The Start?

The most wanted man in Acadiana, Wade Lohse, has an extensive criminal background but not just in Acadiana. His rap sheet dates back more than 22 years, up and down the east coast, and it turns out he's no stranger to being on the run.

In Lafayette Parish, Wade Lohse has been served eight warrants for failure to appear in court since 2011. The warrants were issued on the following dates for missing court on the following charges:

1) 2/8/11- Possession of marijuana for an incident on 9/16/09
2) 8/30/11- Simple burglary for an incident on 3/24/11
3) 9/13/11 - Felon in possession of a weapon for an incident on 1/23/10
4) 9/14/11- DWI for an incident on 1/23/10
5) 12/13/11- Simple burglary for an incident on 3/24/11
6) 3/25/13 - Vehicular homicide for an incident on 6/10/12, simple burglary for an incident on 3/24/11, and felon in possession of a weapon for an incident on 1/23/10.

Our viewers have asked why Lohse was not considered a flight-risk, especially after his most recent arrest for vehicular homicide. According to District Attorney Mike Harson, "The judge ultimately makes that decision. All we can do is submit evidence that a person may be a flight risk, but it remains with the judge to determine that and what remedy the judge desires."

In nearly all of Lohse's cases in Lafayette parish, Commission Thomas Frederick was responsible for setting bond.  We reached out to Commissioner Thomas Frederick, but his secretary tells us he's at a conference Friday.  We left a message and will update this story when we get a response.

Specifically we want to know if there is a certain set of criteria used in determining whether someone may be a flight risk, and we want to know the guidelines that are followed when determining a bond. According to an emailed response from Harson, "There are no set or standardized criteria. It is basically any evidence that might tend to indicate that the defendant may be inclined not to show for court. For instance, no ties to the community, seriousness of the charge, previous record of non-appearances etc. Then the judge will weigh the evidence and determine what remedy, if any, is appropriate."

More about Wade Lohse's prior criminal history:
Lohse's rap sheet is quite extensive. According the U.S. Marshal's Office, his criminal history dates back 25 years. So we began piecing together the arrests we could find.

There is no national database that the public can access for records on a particular person, so we know for a fact not all of the arrests are reflected in the following report we assembled:

On Oct. 11, 1991, Wade Lohse was arrested in Alexander County, North Carolina. He pleaded guilty to the charges of DWI, speeding and no operating license. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, one year probation, 24 hours of community service, and required to attend a substance abuse clinic. He paid a $150 fine and $150 in court costs.

He was extradited from North Carolina in February, 1992, to face a charge in another state, but the court records did not indicate which state wanted him. The record does show Lohse fought the extradition. The state's governor had to sign a warrant for him to be extradited.

In March, 1992, the Greensboro Police Department in Guilford County, North Carolina, charged Lohse with giving fictitious information to an officer and for speeding. Court officials there say Lohse skipped the court date on April 14, 1992, so the charges are still pending.
We're told if he would have been stopped in North Carolina, law enforcement officials would have seen the warrant. Because these were misdemeanor charges, he wouldn't have been entered into a national database.

On Nov. 20, 1996, Lohse was arrested on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property. He pleaded guilty in Montgomery County, Penn., in August, 1998. Lohse was sentenced to between one and five years in prison.

In May, 1997, Lohse was charged with attempted burglary, assault, escape, carjacking, burglary, and theft in New Jersey. According to a post on the Newton Police Department's website, police officers responded to a break-in call at a Texas Steakhouse. They say Lohse was seen fleeing the restaurant when they arrived. He was arrested and placed in the back of the patrol car.
However, police say when they arrived back at headquarters, the suspect had removed the handcuffs, assaulted an officer, and fled on foot. Police say while fleeing, he attempted to carjack a vehicle occupied by a woman and her 3-month-old passenger. Police say they learned the next morning that he had burglarized a home, took keys and stole a vehicle.
The car, which had not been reported stolen yet, was later seen speeding and was pursued by Andover Police. Lohse managed to elude them. The vehicle was recovered in Dover at the train station several days later.

Police say Lohse was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 8, 1997 in New Orleans and extradited back to Newton, N.J. Lohse made a plea deal, confessing to assault and escape charges. He was sentenced to seven years in jail. He was released from the New Jersey state prison on Feb. 1, 2006.

On Sept. 16, 2009, Lohse was accused of possession of marijuana in Lafayette Parish. He pleaded guilty in January, 2011, but skipped his sentencing hearing in February, 2011. A warrant was issued, and he was sentenced in April, 2011, to two months in jail.

On Jan. 23, 2010, Lohse was arrested by Broussard Police after they say he was traveling 13 miles per hour over the speed limit. Police say he failed a field sobriety test, had an open Bud Light Lime next to the driver's seat, and was in possession of a Berratta 9mm pistol. Deputies said he registered a 1.34 on a breathalyzer test. Lohse pleaded no contest to the DWI charge. The other two traffic charges were dismissed.  He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit for time served. Warrants were issued for three missed court dates on Sept. 13, 2011, Sept. 14, 2011, and March 25, 2013. He was fined a $50 contempt of court for the missed court date in September by Judge Edward Rubin. The weapons charge is still pending.

On April 10, 2010, Youngsville Police arrested Lohse after officers say he refused to stop during a traffic stop. Police say that after they put on their lights and sirens, Lohse proceeded a mile and a half to his home and backed into his driveway, nearly striking an officer's police car. He also allegedly refused to get out of the vehicle and had to be pulled out.
He was issued a summons for following too close, driving under suspension and resisting an officer.

The District Attorney's office says they have no records of these charges, but it could possibly be being handled by the Youngsville court system. We were told the only person who could answer our questions about the records there would be back with the keys to the office where the files are kept on Tuesday, April 16th.

On March 24, 2011, Charlotte's Lounge on North University was broken into. Lohse was named a suspect after deputies say DNA placed him at the scene. He was arrested in June, 2011. He missed three court dates on the simple burglary charge, one in August, 2011, one in December, 2011, and the last in March, 2013. For missing court, Frederick fined Lohse $50, and his bond was revoked.

On June 10, 2012, Lohse was in a car accident. He would later be charged with vehicular homicide, after the death of 29-year-old Cacie Barras of Lafayette. He was also cited for driving on the wrong side of the road and for having an open alcohol container in his vehicle.

On March 25, 2013, a nationwide search began for Lohse after he walked out of court prior to a motions hearing on the three pending cases of vehicular homicide, possession of a weapon by a felon, and simple burglary.

On April 2, 2013, deputies issued an arrest warrant on a charge of theft from Gator Cove Restaurant. Deputies say Lohse was contracted to fix a piece of equipment for the restaurant, but now they cannot find the equipment since he took off.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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