Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scuzzbucket of the Week



It's like a bad comedy. The sad part is it's true.

Wayward Jefferson Parish Senator (who voted for this idiot?) Shepherd has been in trouble for some time now. The latest is his arrest for what appears to be his slow descent into insanity.

Shepherd was released early Sunday morning after being arrested Saturday night, accused of punching his ex-girlfriend and stealing her cellular phone and $100, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office reported.

Shepherd, D-Marrero, was arrested around 6:45 p.m. Saturday and booked with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, simple battery and theft over $500.

Shepherd was arrested at his residence in Stonebridge. The sheriff's office said there were two women in the house, one of whom appeared to be performing a lap dance on Shepherd, who was on a sofa.

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Sheriff Newell Normand reported that deputies responded to a call of aggravated burglary at the home of Thaise Ashford, 29, early Saturday.


Deputies later learned that Ashford and Shepherd had a romantic relationship that ended in 2005.



All that changed on July 30th:

During Tuesday's three-hour hearing, Thaise Ashford recanted domestic abuse claims she filed with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office on Saturday. She initially told police that Shepherd, whom she described as a jilted lover, bashed in her door while she was sleeping, became violent, left her with bruised arms and stomach, and stole her $589 Blackberry Pearl and a $100 bill.

In court, Ashford said she and Shepherd are still intimately involved. She said she manufactured the story for police out of frustration that Shepherd paid her a visit after 3 a.m. instead of at 10 the previous night as they had planned.

Explaining the missing phone, she said she and Shepherd were "fussing" with each other over trust issues and agreed to exchange cell phones to demonstrate that neither was being unfaithful. She explained away the broken door frame by saying it was previously damaged.

Ashford, 29, the transportation coordinator for the New Orleans Recovery School District, according to a state Department of Education Web site, testified that she yanked Shepherd's shirt at one point, igniting a scuffle inside and outside the house. When he eventually drove away, she threw a rock at his car window and called 911 to report that he had stopped by unannounced and hit her.

"I was angry, and before I even thought about it I did it, " she said.

Attorney John Reed, who called Ashford as a defense witness, asked her directly several times whether Shepherd had attacked her.

"Did Derrick Shepherd punch you?" Reed asked.

"No, he did not, " she said.

"Did he hit you?" he repeated.

"No, he did not, " she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Magner suggested that Ashford was bowing under great pressure by Shepherd, with the lawmaker going so far as to arrange for Gretna lawyer Bruce Netterville on Monday to draw up an affidavit recanting her report to deputies. He said Shepherd violated a state judge's earlier order to stay away from Ashford by putting her in touch with Netterville, and in turn violated his federal bond requiring him to abide by all federal, state and local laws.




U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier called state Sen. Derrick Shepherd's weekend domestic violence arrest "very troubling," but agreed with a magistrate judge's decision to allow him to await trial under house arrest.

"I've got to say, Mr. Shepherd, this is very disturbing, your behavior," he said. "I don't know what you're thinking."

The senator told Barbier that he had elected to have his mother's house on Blueberry Court in Marrero wired with a monitoring device,



saying his Stonebridge house in Gretna was merely an investment property that he plans to flip.


He uses a third address on Garden Road in Marrero for official documents, but a neighbor said a tenant has rented the house from Shepherd for at least a year.



When asked to state his legal residence, Shepherd told the judge that he "lives and sleeps" at all three houses, dodging accusations that he doesn't reside in his 3rd Senate District.

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