Judge refuses to reduce bail for ex-APSO deputy
Tue, 05/05/2015 - 14:10
Michelle George accused of aiding inmate escape
A state judge refused to reduce the bond of former Avoyelles Parish deputy Michelle George during a hearing in 23rd Judicial District Court Monday. George had sought to have her $250,000 bond reduced to $20,000.
Judge Jessie LeBlanc said George, 47, of Moreauville, failed to understand the risk to the public and to the prisoner when she allowed an Assumption Parish inmate en route to an Avoyelles Parish prison to leave the transport van to buy drugs on March 26. The inmate failed to return. George then spun a tale of how the inmate jumped from the van and escaped. The inmate was recaptured a few hours later.
LeBlanc said she also considered the seriousness of the charges against George and George’s “past brushes” with the law in making her decision.
George was arrested a few days after the escape on charges of malfeasance in office, obstruction of justice and assisting an escape several days after the incident. She has not yet been arraigned on those charges. Her arraignment is scheduled for June 1 in Napoleonville.
During Monday's bond hearing, Assistant District Attorney Tommy Daigle questioned George about her past problems with alcohol. He also focused on two hit-and-run accidents -- one in 2008 and another in 2012 -- and charges of simple battery, aggravated assault, disturbing the peace and criminal trespass in 2014. She was never brought to trial or convicted of any of the crimes.
George acknowledged that she had struggled with alcohol and that the charges Daigle listed had been dropped in exchange for her agreement to seek treatment. She said she was in treatment through 2014.
She joined the Avoyelles Sheriff’s Office in October 2014 and was fired on March 30.
Daigle argued that the March 26 incident and the past arrests show a behavior pattern linked to a substance abuse problem dating back to 2008 and that bail should not be reduced.
In arguing for a bond reduction, George said her corrections position paid $7.50 an hour and she had not accumulated enough money to pay the $250,000 bond.