Jul 2, 2013 7:15 PM by Tina Macias
The man who escaped Welsh police custody last month is not a flight risk or a danger to the community, federal judge Michael Hill said in court today.
Hill released Damien Guidry from federal custody on a $45,000 bond today, but he's not back on the street yet. He has to head back to Welsh because of a pending warrant there.
Guidry was arrested by Welsh PD on June 19 on a federal warrant for felony in possession of a firearm. That's why he was in court today, to enter a plea of not guilty on that charge, and argue why he should be released from jail.
Federal prosecutors argued that Guidry has a history of flight from officers and not showing up for court, but the cases they reference have all been dismissed or Guidry was found not guilty, Guidry's attorney Alfred Boustany II argued.
He was on probation for five years, which ended in January, and the probation was never revoked, Boustany said. And, all the warrants for not showing up to court were thrown out after Guidry appeared in court and showed that the warrants were sent to wrong addresses.
"I don't find him a flight risk. He's lived in Welsh all of his life," Hill said. "He escaped, but, on the other hand, he turned himself in."
After allegedly escaping from the Welsh Police Department on June 19 after a police officer turned his back during processing, Guidry turned himself into U.S. Marshals a week later.
The federal charge for which Guidry was in court today stem from a January 1 arrest in Lafayette where Guidry and another man, Jarvis Martin, allegedly were found with guns in their car. Both apparently are convicted felons.
The two were just indicted for that charge in June.
"It's hard for me to believe he's a serious danger that you left on the street for six months," Hill told federal prosecutors.
That indictment was under seal until today, and KATC was barred from the first court hearing last week because of that seal. Prosecutors said the case was under seal because Martin is not in federal custody. He is in jail in Texas on unrelated drug charges.