Lawyer held in contempt of court docket, arrested following he still left to signify one more client | Courts

A defense lawyer was held in contempt of court docket and booked into the New Orleans jail Thursday right after he unsuccessful to surface in courtroom before in the 7 days for a scheduled murder trial.

The demo, which was slated to kick off Monday, was finally ongoing soon after other defense lawyers questioned for much more time to prepare and a witness who was in operation was unavailable to testify.

Felony District Courtroom Decide Kimya Holmes

Orleans Parish District Felony Courtroom Judge Kimya Holmes questioned Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Business office deputies to arrest Stavros Panagoulopoulos immediately after he unsuccessful to surface in court docket for the scheduled demo of his consumer, Christopher Patterson. Patterson, alongside with co-defendant Gerald Barnes, is billed with second-diploma murder in the April 2018 capturing dying of 23-year-outdated Alfred Johnson.

Panagoulopoulos still left Holmes’ courtroom Monday characterize one more defendant in a separate murder demo in Jefferson Parish — the trial of Leonidas Lowry, charged with second-diploma murder in the 2016 slaying of Ethan Allen in Gretna. Voir dire, or jury selection, had started in that trial and Panagoulopoulos’ essential to attend, claimed defense Anthony Angelette, who also represents Lowry.

But following learning Panagoulopoulos was in an additional demo, a court transcript demonstrates that Holmes replied, “That’s not my challenge,” right before demanding that the demo shift forward.

She requested deputies to “go come across Mr. Panagoulopoulos,” introducing that, “if he has to occur right here in handcuffs, I never treatment.” Holmes then advised Panagoulopoulos’ absence was a racial slight.

“All I’m indicating is this,” Holmes instructed the court docket. “If I was a white male or a white female, I’m pretty certain the remedy I would be having from the defense attorneys would be unique.”

Pursuing his contempt of courtroom hearing Thursday, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Business office documents show Panagoulopoulos was booked into jail on a 24-hour keep. He was also fined $100.

In a ruling submitted Thursday, Holmes wrote that court docket personnel texted Panagoulopoulos to inquire him to return to court docket, but he declined, stating that “he was required to attend an additional issue.” Court docket team also texted Panagoulopoulos to advise him that an attachment had been issued for his arrest, in accordance to the ruling.

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Attorney Barry Ranshi, who represented Panagoulopoulos at Thursday’s listening to, declined to remark. 

Holmes did not return calls and e-mail for comment Thursday afternoon. In her ruling, Holmes wrote that Panagoulopoulos “exhibited insolence, unprofessionalism and a willful disregard for the get of this court.”

Monday’s court transcript indicates that Holmes was worried about advancing Barnes’ and Patterson’s trial, which experienced been set and moved many instances given that their arrests almost 4 many years ago.

“I was elected to move this docket. I think this guy justifies his day in courtroom,” Holmes said, referring to Barnes, and addressing her remarks to Barnes’ lawyers, community defenders Brian Woods and James Miller. “I imagine the victim’s spouse and children warrants their day in court docket.”

Woods and Miller, nonetheless, requested for a continuance right after a plea deal with prosecutors fell aside soon before the trial. Assistant District Attorney Samantha Stagias joined their ask for.

“We were being all under the effect we had been going to go forward with that plea nowadays,” she stated.

The trial was continued and reset for April immediately after Residences acquired that a witness, a law enforcement officer, was in surgery and would be unavailable to arrive to courtroom to testify all week.

In her ruling Thursday, Holmes wrote that Panagoulopoulos’ shopper, Patterson, was “prevented from obtaining his jury trial due to the conduct of Mr. Panagoulopoulos, who unilaterally and without the need of the court’s authorization chose to go away.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier model of this write-up misspelled the identify of the attorney representing Stavros Panagoulopoulos. He is Barry Ranshi.

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