Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the arrest of a Golden Meadow man accused of Jury Tampering in the trial of Slade St. Pierre. Jimmy P. Pitre (W/M, D.O.B. 02/27/1955) of 124 E. 178th Street, is accused of attempting to get a juror to vote not guilty in exchange for cash he said was promised by the defendant.
According to the juror, Pitre said he had met with St. Pierre and others in front the Courthouse around noon on Wednesday, November 9, and that they had asked Pitre to relay the message that the juror could make $2,500 by casting a vote of not guilty. The next morning, the juror spoke with Judge Walt Lanier III, who was presiding over the St. Pierre trial, and told him everything that Pitre had said. Judge Lanier notified the Sheriffs Office and immediately removed the juror from the trial which resumed (and eventually concluded) later that day.
When detectives questioned Pitre about the alleged incident, they noticed subtle differences in his story compared to the jurors account of what Pitre had said. Still, detectives proceeded to question others whose names were mentioned as being present during the conversation.
Through investigation, detectives came to believe that the alleged conversation with St. Pierre, Pitre and others never actually took place. When detectives confronted Pitre about the incident again, Pitre admitted that the conversation had, in fact, never taken place. When asked why he lied during his initial interview with detectives, Pitre said he did not realize that the juror was going to tell the judge what he told her, and he did not want to get into trouble.
Sheriff Webre commended the juror on the honesty and willingness to come forward with the truth regarding this trial and its eventual outcome. Sheriff Webre said, The justice system continues to work because of citizens commitment to civic duty when called upon.
Detectives obtained a warrant, and Pitre was arrested at his home Thursday evening without incident and was charged with Jury Tampering. He is being held at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in lieu of $10,000.00 bond as set by Judge Hugh F. Buddy Larose.