Fred ‘Brad’ Dutton Jr. enters ‘not guilty’ plea on vehicular homicide charges without appearing in court
Wed, Feb 20, 2013
According to the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, a Lafayette Attorney representing Fred ‘Brad’ Dutton Jr. filed a written plea of ‘not guilty’ on behalf of his client prior to yesterdays arraignment date.
How convenient because Dutton wasn’t required to appear in open court with his counsel.
Generally, “the defendant in a felony case shall plead in person” acording to the Code Of Criminal Procedure 553 but I guess those rules don’t apply to all.
Dutton ran a red light and crashed into 22-year-old Rachael Sonnier’s vehicle on Thanksgiving Eve in 2012 according to cops.
Dutton was arrested that night, however, only charged with OWI despite Sonier dying at the scene and her brother being severly injured.
Lafayette Police issued an arrest warrant for the arrest of Fred Dutton, Jr. for Vehicular Homicide on Tuesday,
On December 4, 2012., the Lafayette Police Department issued a warrant for Dutton’s arrest and he conveniently turned himself into authorities without incident and bonded out a short time late on a $25,000 bond.
Lafayette Polive say charges was upgraded after toxicology test results showed Dutton’s alcohol level was over the legal .08 limit.
Our question remains, if sufficient probable cause existed against Mr. Dutton to charge him with OWI on the night of the accident, then tell me how there isn’t sufficient probable cause for him to be charged with vehicular homicide arrest?
According to law enforcement sources, the probable cause used to arrest Dutton may have been a breathalyzer test and/or Dutton showed serious signs of impairment at the scene of the accident. However, Dutton could have refused the Breathalyzer test and under Louisiana Law been forced to submit to toxicology testing which generally takes about 90 days to get back from the Louisiana State Police crime lab. Either way, our law enforcement sourcesagree that if enough probable cause existed for an OWI arrest, they surely can’t understand why Dutton wasn’t charged with Vehicular Homicide as well.
Let’s not forget Dutton had a previous OWI. According to Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson, in 2011 Dutton had a possession of marijuana charge which was dismissed by his office after the crime lab was unable to give them any reliable evidence against him. Harson did say that enough evidence against his two accomplices existed though. Draw your own conclusion on where the reliable evidence on Dutton was…..