New Details in Foch Case - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New Details in Foch Case

May 24, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

There are new details in the case of former Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Deputy, Joshua Foch, and the car accident that resulted in two of his friends' deaths.

A Calcasieu Grand Jury has decided not to indict Foch on felony charges in connection with the December accident.  But other charges remain, as well as lawsuits from families of the victims.

It was off Interstate 210 back in December that 20-year-old Joshua Foch's car crashed into a guard rail, taking the lives of passengers Jerica Devillier and Jarred Malone.  It appeared that Foch would face charges for vehicular and negligent homicide, but this was not the case with the Calcasieu Grand Jury decision.  Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier says, "The Grand Jury returned a no-true bill on vehicular homicide, a no-true bill on negligent homicide and a true bill on driving while intoxicated and reckless operation."

The investigation concludes that the accident was actually caused at the hands of passenger, Jarred Malone.  "He grabbed the steering wheel," says DeRosier, "and caused the vehicle to move to the right side of the road, striking the guard rail and causing the accident."

DeRosier says both Foch and his surviving passenger took a lie detector test on the issue of Malone jerking the wheel.  Three other deputies that were close friends of Malone also gave statements to the district attorney's office stating that they had all been in the car with Malone on other occasions when he suddenly jerked the wheel.  DeRosier adds that the tire marks on the road after the accident indicate that the vehicle did not simply veer to the right, but that it was in fact a sudden movement that sped the car into the guard rail.

Although the Grand Jury says Foch is not responsible for the accident, the family of Jerica Devillier plans to move forward with their wrongful death lawsuit against him.  Barry Roach is the attorney for the Devillier family.  He says, "Our duty is to prove that Mr. Foch is guilty of negligence which resulted in the death of Jerica Devillier."

Roach says the issue of whose hands were on the wheel at the time of the accident does not matter for the Devillier's lawsuit.  "We still believe that Mr. Foch contributed to the death of Jerica Devillier," says Roach, "by driving while intoxicated with passengers in his car."

The family of Jarred Malone currently has a lawsuit against Foch, but no comments are available at this time from the Malone family or their attorney, Nathan Cormie.

If Foch is convicted of DWI and reckless operation, he could get up to nine months in jail.  A spokesperson for Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says Foch will not get his job back with the Sheriff's Office.

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