The prosecution and defense have completed their cases in the felony criminal trial of Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope.
Jurors have been sent home for the night, while attorneys meet with the judge to iron out the jury’s instructions.
Tomorrow, both sides will present their closing arguments, then the judge will instruct the jury and deliberations will begin.
Pope did not testify.
Yesterday, jurors heard Pope testify via a deposition he gave in a lawsuit filed against him by the Independent Weekly, a Lafayette newspaper, over public records. That lawsuit gave rise to the charges against him.
Pope faces seven felony counts: two counts of perjury and five counts of malfeasance. If convicted of a felony, Pope would be removed from office if he’s unsuccessful in appealing the conviction.
This morning, before testimony resumed, Pope’s attorneys asked the court to rule on a motion to dismiss two of the malfeasance counts against him. His attorneys allege that prosecutors are citing the incorrect law, and that the proper allegations weren’t contained in the bill of particulars. The court denied the motion, saying it should have been made during pretrial hearings, and now is will have to wait until after trial.
As soon as this trial is over, whatever the outcome, Pope will begin preparation for a second criminal trial on a September indictment accusing him of malfeasance in office for misusing marshal office funds. To read about that indictment, click here.
The charges he’s facing in the ongoing trial stem from a lawsuit filed by The Independent Weekly, a Lafayette newspaper that sued the marshal over a public records request related to a press conference he held during the last election for Lafayette Sheriff.