I haven’t blogged on the Sherb Sentell arrest for the last couple of days because I was waiting to see what developed.
As most of you are aware, Sentell was arrested last Friday night at the Horseshoe Casino for Domestic Abuse Battery. All of the media outlets have now released the Casino videos that show what led to the arrest.
The arresting officer was my son, Bossier City Police Cpl. M. D Wells.
In his report, he noted that according to the transporting officers, one a reserve officer and one a regular officer, Sentell had “made numerous threats to sue them and adversely affect their employment with the police department by using his political influence if he were arrested.”
“They (officers) also indicated these threats had been made as they were transporting Mr. Sentell, and his statements had been recorded by Officer Vernon's in-car video system.”
Schuyler Marvin listened to the video and said that nothing that Sentell said rose to the level of intimidation. The definition, by law, of public intimidation is:
· Public intimidation is the use of violence, force, or threats upon any of the following persons, with the intent to influence his conduct in relation to his position, employment, or duty:
o Public officer or public employee.
The reserve officer was fired by BCPD, and the other officer is on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of the internal investigation.
According to the Minden Press-Herald, “Reportedly, these actions were taken Wednesday after the investigation determined that the two filed a false police report in which they indicated Sentell threatened their jobs with the department and tried to use his position to avoid arrest.”
According to the District Attorney, Sentell made no threat with the intent to influence the conduct of the officers.
Hopefully, the in-car video will be released sooner rather than later.
Also, according to the Press-Herald in referring to the charge of domestic abuse battery, “No slapping, hitting, punching or extreme violence is visible during the approximate 30-minute video. “
Okay. The law says:
A. Domestic abuse battery is the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member upon the person of another household member.
You can judge that by all the videos that are available. What do you think? What would you think if it was your daughter or your sister?
On Wednesday morning, I had an email from Danny Lawler at The Inquisitor asking for my comments on information he had received from Sentell’s defense team.
1. That the officer (Wells) had a ‘bone to pick’ with Schuyler Marvin for dismissing an attempted homicide charge against a suspect who had committed battery on the the officer.
2. That the operator of My Bossier is the officer’s father.
3. That the father is a good friend of Judge Burchett.
I was happy to answer Danny’s questions, and I will answer them here.
Yes, I am responsible for My Bossier. That’s no secret.
I endorsed Judge Burchett in the last election, an election which was won by Mike Craig with the help of Schuyler Marvin. So far as being good friends, I know Judge Burchett but I don’t think of it in the ‘good friend’ category. I am proud, however, to call Judge Burchett a friend, and I have no regrets for supporting him last fall.
What in the world Judge Burchett has to do with this arrest, I have no idea.
One of the best friends I ever had in the world, from the time we crawled on the floor in church nursery together until we graduated from high school together, was Cecil Campbell. I still hold him in very high regard. Perhaps the defense team should consider whether or not that friendship affected the situation.
Now to the first question – does my son have a ‘bone to pick’ with the DA. My answer, and of course I can’t answer for him, is that I have never heard him say anything negative about the DA. Police officers realize that most cases end in plea arrangements out of necessity. We don’t have the court resources to try every case.
As to the incident they were referring to, I didn’t intend to blog on it and told Bossier ADA Lane Pittard that I would not. Since Sentell’s defense team brought it up, I suppose I need to do so.
In a nutshell, a man hit my son and another person with his vehicle. They were able to move out of the way and stop him. He was charged with 2 counts of aggravated battery (felony), 1 count of battery on a police officer (felony), 1 count of resisting arrest (misdemeanor) and with misdemeanor 1st DWI.
I was aware of it, and checked on it the day after his court appearance. The DA’s office had sent the misdemeanor DWI to court, accepted a $500 fine on the misdemeanor resisting charge, and nol-prossed the three felonies. I contacted Lane Pittard and asked him if it was customary to nol-pross felonies in favor of a misdemeanor charge, and he looked into it. He told me that the plea should not have gone through, and that the ADA responsible should not have done it. Lane even called in my son to explain what happened. I thanked him for his forthrightness.
Now, apparently, someone in the Bossier DA’s office passed it on to the Sentell lawyers in an effort to discredit me and to invent some ‘grudge’ that doesn’t exist. Lawyers, lawyers. They have more spin than a washing machine.
Can’t say that I’m surprised, by now everyone knows that all those guys are tighter than ticks.
Like Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that. For now.