There are currently eight assistant district attorneys assigned to the Felony Division. They prosecute violent and nonviolent cases classified as offenses against the person, offenses against property, offenses affecting the family, offenses affecting public morals, offenses affecting the public generally and offenses affecting organized government.
The District Attorney’s Office receives criminal reports of arrest and investigations from law enforcement agencies and decides whether to file formal criminal charges. In some instances, particularly when the crime is punishable by death or life in prison or when more information is required to decide the appropriate charge, the case will be assigned to a grand jury.
Cases are moved through the system with the intent to reach resolution as expeditiously as possible, while safeguarding the constitutional rights of the defendants.
Many cases are resolved without trial by agreement between the defendant and the District Attorney’s Office, but only when the interests of the state and identified victims are best served by such an agreement.
Courts are on the 4th and 6th floors of the Rapides Parish Courthouse
On July 28, 2015, Gerald Eugene Thomas, was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder; aggravated rape and false imprisonment. Subsequently, on September 24, 2015, he was indicted by a Rapides Parish Grand Jury for attempted second degree murder; Forcible Rape and Second Degree Kidnapping. Trial commenced on May 2, 2017 and the jury found Mr. Thomas guilty of attempted second degree murder and simple kidnapping. He was found not guilty of forcible rape. Sentencing has been set for June 12, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
On May 2, 2017, the trial of Billy Dean Cotton commenced before a Rapides Parish jury for the offense of Second Degree murder. The trial lasted 3 days and on May 4, 2017, the jury, after deliberating for 30 minutes, unanimously found him guilty of Second Degree Murder. Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney’s Cheryl A. Carter and John T. Giordano prosecuted the case. The family of the victim was grateful and appreciated all the hard work done by the Rapides District Attorney’s Office.
On April 26, 2017, the 9th Judicial District Grand Jury met and returned true bills of indictment as follows: Timothy Teasley, First Degree Murder and Attempted First Degree Murder; Natarsha Elizabeth Meredith, First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery; Daniel Maverick Mikkelson, Sr., First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery; Kendrick Treman Davis, Second Degree Murder, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Schedule II, Possession with intent to distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance Schedule I, Possession with intent to distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance Schedule IV and Five (5) Counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Derrick Dwayne Berry, Second Degree Murder and Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Schedule II