LC council member wants measures in place for pretrial bond reductions

LC council member wants measures in place for pretrial bond reductions

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Months of undercover work led Calcasieu's Combined Anti-Drug Team (CAT) to perform a drug raid on two homes in Lake Charles back in late October.

Six were arrested and booked, but one of those suspects was able to get back on the streets that same day, leaving many upset, including city council member Luvertha August.

Now the councilwoman is working to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

"I have received so many calls since this bust happened with people telling me how quiet and peaceful it is," said August.

A home on Kingsley Street and one on Elaine Street were raided by police in a large drug bust in October.

One of the six people arrested was Walter Lee Lewis.

His bond was originally set at $80,000 by one judge, but Judge Ron Ware verbally reduced his bond down to $12,000, allowing Lewis to get out of jail the same day he was arrested.

"It's not fair," said August. "It's not fair to the law-abiding citizen, it's not fair to law enforcement, and it's certainly not fair to the taxpayer, because the taxpayers are the ones who had to foot all of that manpower that was on this street."

August decided to sponsor a resolution at a recent city council meeting in hopes of preventing this from happening again.

"It was so great that the entire Lake Charles City Council unanimously voted to request that our state legislative body look into the process," she said.

The resolution requests the Southwest Louisiana Legislative Delegation to consider measures that would prevent pretrial bond reductions to suspects with lengthy criminal histories.

"One or two misdemeanors or one or two bad moves -that could be forgiven, but when you have a 30 or 40 rap sheet, that's not so good," said August.

August believes this resolution will help keep those in her district, and everyone in the city of Lake Charles safe, and she hopes judges will hear her plea.

"Think about the people you serve who follow the law, who pay the taxes when you let these people out like this," she said.

7News reached out to Judge Ware to ask why he reduced Lewis's bond, but he declined to comment on the situation.

For more information on the drug bust back in October, click HERE.

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