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Trial date set for Dennis Perkins

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 3:12 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A trial date has been set for former high-ranking Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Officer Dennis Perkins.

The trial will begin on May 9 of 2022.

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Perkins and his former Livingston Parish school teacher wife Cynthia Perkins are accused of litany of charges including rape and producing child pornography. Cynthia is being tried separately from her husband, no date has been set in her trial.

Perkins was in court today for a hearing over evidence which his defense attorney, Jarrett Ambeau, says the state has lost. At question, three hard drives Ambeau said the state collected as evidence during a search of Perkin’s home. Ambeau said those hard drives were never presented to him as evidence and questioned the state about the whereabouts of the hard drives. Prosecutors for the state claim those hard drives were never actually taken, saying in court that if Ambeau would simply look at all the evidence the state has, it would clear up any “confusion” he might have.

District Judge Erika Sledge denied Ambeau’s motion for a Bill of Particulars to have the state identify and prove where each piece of evidence came from, though she ordered the state to present all of its evidence against Perkins to his defense team.

The state did elude it would sever several charges against Perkins, including one involving an alleged sexual act with an animal. During Tuesday’s hearing, the state said it did not have evidence to support that charge. Prosecutors did not mention which other charges would be severed.

The trial date in May gives each side nearly nine months to prepare for trial. At this point, it appears no plea deal will be made, at least not until trial nears. Negotiations between the two sides have broken down and the state says no deals are currently on the table.

“I don’t think we’re going to get into anything the state is going to agree to that my client can accept,” Ambeau said. “So he’ll either plead guilty as charged or he’s going to go to trial and I think frankly with that kind of choice he’ll go to trial.”

Assistant Attorney General Erica McLellan said her team stands ready for trial and is ready to obtain justice for the victims in this case. When asked if there was any pressure to reach a deal to avoid trial in order to prevent any victims from having to recount their experience, McLellan said she will do whatever is necessary to get justice.

“I think that’s always a risk when you go to trial,” she said. “Justice is our goal for our victims and it’s our hope we can bring everything to a head and obtain justice at the next setting.”

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