JUNE 02, 2008
Two Louisiana judges have been convicted by a jury for taking bribes to reduce bonds, recall arrest warrants and remove probation holds on defendants.
The judges presided over Caddo Parish District courts in Shreveport, and one of them, Michael Walker, actually oversaw the district’s drug section. The disgraced judge took bribes to speed up and reduce bonds as well as recall arrest warrants or remove probation holds.
The other convicted judge, Vernon Claville, presided over juvenile court. He took bribes in exchange for removing holds on accused juveniles so that they could get bond. During three months last year, the judges took a total of 24 bribes from an informant who worked for a bondsman. He delivered three days of damaging testimony at trial.
Prosecutors say the judges were driven by greed since they made a comfortable annual salary of nearly $120,000. They still sold justice in Caddo Parish and now each faces two decades in prison and a $250,000 fine. Both men are being detained until their sentencing hearing because they are considered a flight risk.
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