New judge randomly selected in Dennis Bartie murder case

Bartie is accused of murdering a Lake Charles woman in 1998.
Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 8:05 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Judge Clayton Davis has been randomly picked to be the new judge on the case of Dennis Bartie-- a man charged with a 1998 murder in Lake Charles.

Still, the Calcasieu District Attorney’s office plans to appeal the ruling that removed Judge Mike Canaday from the case.

In 1998 Rose Born was murdered at her doughnut shop in Lake Charles. For nearly two decades it was a cold case until finally in 2016 Bartie was charged.

There was a hearing to remove Judge Mike Canaday from the case, partly because he sided with the state so much and was reversed on appeal.

“The standard is whether a well-informed observer could reasonably question the judge’s impartiality and I think based on what we presented on the record to Judge Davis, we met that standard very easily,” said Adam Johnson, defense attorney.

Johnson and defense attorney Todd Clemons say especially concerning was the unsealing of documents dealing with personal finances and defense strategy.

“We have no way of knowing if they looked at the records or not. We know this, they should never have had access to the records. They should never have had the records in their possession,” he said.

D.A. John DeRosier says the unsealing of the record was for appeal purposes and was never looked at because objections were raised.

"We have not looked at that record. To the best of my knowledge nobody in this office has looked at that record," he said.

Judge Clayton Davis ruled Canaday should be removed. And then Davis was randomly assigned to the case.

But the DeRosier plans to appeal Canaday’s removal:

"If we were able to recuse every judge in this district who has ruled against us and been reversed by the court of appeals more than one time, we could get rid of a few judges,” he said.

To read the recusal motion click here.

Another controversy-- Bartie's confession which an appeal court said was illegal and cannot be used because it was not freely given. But the DeRosier says it's not needed in the trial anyway.

Issues dealing with the confession are still to be heard by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Bartie is currently serving a 40-year sentence for stabbing a woman multiple times in 2006.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.