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Defense attorney says DOJ investigation could affect client's co - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Defense attorney says DOJ investigation could affect client's conviction

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Evangeline Parish -

Unconstitutional practices by Ville Platte police and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office could mean problems for prosecutors.

The agencies are working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to phase out illegal practices, like "investigative holds."

The DOJ found both agencies were violating the Constitution by holding suspects and witnesses in jail without filing charges. 

Now, at least one defense attorney is questioning the case against his client. 

In July 2014, Ville Platte resident Ann Nguyen was gunned down inside a Ville Platte convenience store.

Samuel Anderson was convicted of first degree murder and armed robbery.

"How was my client developed as a suspect?" District Defender Alex Chapman questioned. 

Chapman is Anderson's defense attorney and is questioning the case against his client now more than ever. 

"Did some of their interrogation and unconstitutional activity lead to him being developed as a suspect?" Chapman persisted. 

This week, one of the witnesses in the case, Shawana Deville, spoke to KATC Investigates, saying she was treated like a criminal for reporting a crime.

"It was horrible, actually," Deville recounted when she spoke to KATC Investigates. "Just being in a cell when you know you didn't do nothing wrong."

Chapman added, "I put two and two together. She's a witness or was a witness in that investigation, and that was the particular case." 

In light of the illegal practices by Ville Platte police and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office, Chapman is calling for a retrial. 

"My angle is that they may have developed my client, Mr. Anderson, a lead on him as a suspect through that interrogation," Chapman said. "If that's so, there may be grounds for a new trial. Have another trial without having anything to do with that particular evidence and testimony."  

KATC Investigates reached out to the Evangeline Parish District Attorney and the judge involved in this case; neither have returned our calls. 
 

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