LAFAYETTE, La. — Should Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope’s 30-day jail sentence be reinstated, he will not be able to serve the rest of his time on house arrest, the judge overseeing his civil case ruled on Thursday.
Pope sought home monitoring for his recent 30-day jail sentence for failing to complete the terms of his probation. In denying the request, 15th Judicial District Judge Jules Edwards said the marshal has made no attempt to complete his community service work over the last two years and would not be able to complete the terms of his probation by the time it ends.
“He has never acknowledged the harm he committed and has not attempted to repair said harm,” Edwards wrote in his decision. “Actions have consequences. The Marshal chose his behavior. This court has determined the consequences of that behavior.”
Pope was released from the Lafayette Parish jail on Thursday after serving eight of the 30 days. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal stayed the sentence while it’s on appeal.
When Edwards handed down the sentence on Feb. 28, the marshal’s attorney filed a motion asking for house arrest. Edwards only responded to the request yesterday.
Edwards said Pope’s attorneys never introduced evidence that he had begun complying with the terms of his probation, which included 173 hours of community service through teaching courses on public-records compliance or — because Edwards recognized last year that Pope had not begun any of that work — 173 hours of litter abatement.
“During the period of the Marshal’s probation, this court has conducted multiple hearing(s) to assess the Marshal’s progress with his community service obligation and to encourage the Marshal to begin that work. Those hearings and the various probation revocation hearings only produced a string of arguments from various attorneys,” Edwards wrote.
Edwards also said Pope’s probation ends on March 24, two years after he first found the marshal in contempt of court for withholding public records. But Pope’s attorneys have contended his probation ends in November, two years after the marshal exhausted his appeal options with the state Supreme Court.
Although Edwards said in court that Pope would receive credit for time served in the 30-day jail sentence, the judge’s detainer order — later obtained by KATC — states that he will not get any credit for the seven days he already spent on house arrest in November 2016.
Pope is due in court again on March 26 for a pretrial hearing in his felony case. That trial is set for April.