Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Alleged Ku Klux Klan member found incompetent to stand trial

A state judge today found an alleged Ku Klux Klan member incompetent to stand trial for obstruction of justice in connection with the killing of a Oklahoma woman who tried to back out of a Klan initiation ceremony in a remote part of St. Tammany Parish.

State Judge Reginald "Reggie" Badeaux ordered Shane Foster, 21, to get tutoring in the St. Tammany Parish Jail for the next 90 days by a court-appointed forensic coordinator with the hope that it would "restore" Foster's competency and make him ready for trial.

Dr. Michelle Garriga, who was appointed by the court to examine Foster and did so on March 16, testified on the stand today that Foster does "not have a factual understanding" of the law or its procedures.

She said he has "cognitive deficits," "an ignorance of legal understanding," and that he is "mildly mentally retarded or a little above that."

Garriga, who works in Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System's forensic division, said Foster does not understand the role of judges, attorneys, jurors or defendants; does not comprehend the difference between guilt and innocence, and is not aware of his legal rights.

He is the son of Raymond "Chuck" Foster, the alleged imperial wizard of a Bogalusa Klan group who is facing second-degree murder in the shooting death of Cynthia Lynch in a remote area of St. Tammany Parish on Nov. 9, after she reportedly had told him that she wanted to go home.

While his father is not scheduled for a hearing until May 18, today two other alleged Klan members, Frank Stafford and Danielle Jones, also appeared for hearings in front of Badeaux.
Stafford also is facing an obstruction of justice charge, while Jones is facing accessory after the fact.

Nothing further happened in Stafford's case, but Jones' bond was reduced from $300,000 to $25,000, an amount her attorney said her family could afford.

Badeaux agreed to the bond reduction because the initial bond had been set when Jones was facing an obstruction of justice charge. The grand jury instead decided to charge her with accessory after the fact, allegedly for giving authorities false information immediately after the murder.

The obstruction of justice charges carry a maximum of 40 years in prison, while with the accessory after the fact charge, Jones is now only facing a maximum of five years.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats really rude to do that!!!

3:47 PM  

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