Public defender pleads no contest to drug charge

Mar 9, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Daily Advertiser

The East Baton Rouge Parish public defender arrested for attempting to enter the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola with a small amount of marijuana in his jacket has pleaded no contest to a reduced charge.

The Advocate reports Nelvil Hollingsworth, 62, of Zachary, was booked Feb. 25 with introduction of contraband into a penal institution, a felony, but District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla reduced the charge to simple possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

"I apologize, and there are no excuses," Hollingsworth said after his court appearance.

Hollingsworth is the head of the homicide division of the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defenders' Office and has worked on the teams that represented both of Baton Rouge's recent accused serial killers, Derrick Todd Lee and Jeffery Lee Guillory, and currently is representing Richard Matthews, a man accused of killing two women at Grady Crawford Construction Co. in 2009.

Greg Rome, Hollingsworth's attorney at Thursday's hearing, said Hollingsworth is "extremely embarrassed and extremely sorry and remorseful."

Jim Boren said Hollingsworth told the ODC he had purchased the marijuana but forgot that it was in his jacket pocket.

State District Judge William G. Carmichael deferred Hollingsworth's sentencing for a year on the conditions that he pay a $400 fine, pay $100 to the sheriff's narcotics fund, perform four days of public service, be evaluated for substance abuse and submit to random drug screens.

Hollingsworth is one of two lawyers representing Barry Edge, one of the five Angola inmates accused in the 1999 slaying of Capt. David C. Knapps during a botched escape attempt from the West Feliciana Parish prison.

Hollingsworth was scheduled to confer with Edge when an Angola security officer found 5.2 grams, or 0.18 of an ounce, of marijuana in the lining of his jacket, authorities said.

Jerome M. Winsberg, the judge presiding in the Angola 5 cases, decided Feb. 28 that Edge's first-degree murder trial will go forward in April as planned, with Hollingsworth remaining as the lead defense attorney.

After a hearing Wednesday, a 19th Judicial District assistant district attorney and a public defender said Hollingsworth also is scheduled to continue representing Matthews, 54, of Slaughter, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of two construction company clerical workers in 2009.

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1 - 20 of 70 Comments Last updated Aug 17, 2012
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Crime pays

Baton Rouge, LA

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#1
Mar 21, 2012
 
Is this factual?
????

Gonzales, LA

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#2
Mar 21, 2012
 
Guy had less to an ounce of weed and this is his first arrest....what do you want them to do?

If it makes you feel any better I'm willing to bet that once the bar association is finished with him he will be disbarred
Crime pays

Baton Rouge, LA

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#3
Mar 21, 2012
 
He had half an ounce or was he just charged with half an ounce? Just curious. Seems odd that he would be allowed to continue to represent inmates inside a prison that he attempted to introduce contraband into. Forgetting that you've sewn drugs into the lining of your jacket is a little hard to believe.
????

Prairieville, LA

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#4
Mar 22, 2012
 
He had .18 of an ounce...so he had less than a half of an ounce.

They are letting him continue because it would probably hurt his clients to change attorneys at this point. Assuming like the Angola 5 they are in the middle of or about to go to trail.

It would also delay the proceedings, which would cost the tax payers more money.
DA Justice

West Palm Beach, FL

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#5
Mar 22, 2012
 

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How can it possibly be that he had this sewn into his jacket and still got away with this?? If you were using for personal use, it wouldn't be sewn in???
How can this be okay and our kids get thrown into jail for taking road signs???
abc

Saint Francisville, LA

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#6
Mar 22, 2012
 
[QUOTE who="????"]He had .18 of an ounce...so he had less than a half of an ounce.
They are letting him continue because it would probably hurt his clients to change attorneys at this point. Assuming like the Angola 5 they are in the middle of or about to go to trail.
It would also delay the proceedings, which would cost the tax payers more money.
[/QUOTE]
I am not experienced enough about illegal drugs to know how much is okay to get busted with but I feel sure this deal is in the "best interest of the taxpayers" (because that's the best defense one can give to put a positive spin on this in the court of public opinion) and not just a favor to a colleague. Certanly ANYONE who committed such a minor infraction could expect to get off for $500, right? I just wonder how Austin Daniel and the drug task force feel about the message this sends.
????

Prairieville, LA

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#7
Mar 22, 2012
 
In Louisiana, no amount is ok.

But generally speaking, less than an ounce would get you a similar result for any first timmer...so there was no "professional" courtesy down there. People are giving similar punishment every week across the state...they just are not "high profile" so you don't hear about it.

The courtesy was allowing him to plea to a lesser charge. Bringing anything into a state pen, be it a beer a one leaf of weed is a big time offense. Take that as you will.

I don't use weed, though I do think that it shouldn't be a jail time offense so I'm good with giving offenders slack, no mater who they are.
????

Prairieville, LA

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#8
Mar 22, 2012
 

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Do you realize how much money those "kids" stealing street signs cost the parish?

They got arrested as they should of been....and unless I'm mistaking none of them have been "thrown in jail." Tey had to be processed ofcourse but none are serving a sentence.

At least not yet....and they probably won't. They will likely get communitee service, probation, and a fine.
Sandy

United States

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#9
Mar 22, 2012
 

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[QUOTE who="????"]Do you realize how much money those "kids" stealing street signs cost the parish?
They got arrested as they should of been....and unless I'm mistaking none of them have been "thrown in jail." Tey had to be processed ofcourse but none are serving a sentence.
At least not yet....and they probably won't. They will likely get communitee service, probation, and a fine.[/QUOTE]

Anyone ever tell you that you're a jerk?
????

Prairieville, LA

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#10
Mar 22, 2012
 

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I take it you know them personally Sandy...perhaps even related to a one or two of the youngsters?

If my son went out and committed an act of theft or vandalism, be it public or private property, I would expect them to be arrested if caught. They broke the law....period.

He would also lose his car and wouldn't see daylight except when he left to go to school and work (he would be working to payback the owner of the property by the way, be it the parish or a private individual).

Are you saying the "kids" (and i use that term losely considering most was 17-19) should not of been punished for stealing public property? What it they stole your property?
????

Prairieville, LA

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#11
Mar 22, 2012
 
My appoligies...."if" not "if"

Sorry to hurt your eyes with such a typo.
????

Prairieville, LA

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#12
Mar 22, 2012
 
"if" not "it"....darn these thumbs !!
Sandy

United States

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#13
Mar 22, 2012
 

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[QUOTE who="????"]"if " not "it"....darn these thumbs !![/QUOTE]

Seems that you have about 10 of them.
????

Jackson, MS

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#14
Mar 22, 2012
 
How did you guess :)
Magnum PI

Saint Francisville, LA

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#15
Mar 22, 2012
 

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It seems ????'s manner/frequency of posting (eg. typos, Louisville, KY(mobile phone ip) AND Baton Rouge (home/office ip), narcissistic urge to voice his opinion on the majority of topics on this forum, not just those pertaining to him, etc.)bears an eerie resemblance to that of SOB. Anyone else notice the pattern here?
????

Prairieville, LA

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#16
Mar 22, 2012
 

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Hmm....so Magnum...your deduction is that since we both seem to be posting on iPhones...we both seem a bit cocky...we both seem to enjoy posting our opinion on various topics...and we both habituaually make typo's....we must be one in the same?

I guess you are right...because there is no way there are two people in this world that are cocky jerks, and happeb to both have smart phones with way too much time on their hands and are lazy forum posters that do not check what they type until it is too late.

You would give Sherlock a run for it my friend.
Magnum PI

Saint Francisville, LA

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#17
Mar 22, 2012
 
touche' Good point, my friend. Unlike many, I am neither too old, nor too wise to accept that I am often wrong. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways.
????

Prairieville, LA

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#18
Mar 22, 2012
 
I often say after making a statement that "I may be wrong, it has happened before and I'm sure it is bound to happen again" :)
Sheik Yerbouti

Jamison, PA

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#19
Mar 22, 2012
 

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It's cases like this that prove that the laws against cannabis do more harm than the harmless plant does.
DA Justice

West Palm Beach, FL

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#20
Mar 22, 2012
 

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[QUOTE who="????"]Do you realize how much money those "kids" stealing street signs cost the parish?
They got arrested as they should of been....and unless I'm mistaking none of them have been "thrown in jail." Tey had to be processed ofcourse but none are serving a sentence.
At least not yet....and they probably won't. They will likely get communitee service, probation, and a fine.[/QUOTE]

My post is related to the fact that the attorney public defender went into a penal institution with illegal contraband and did not spend any time in jail as our young sign takers. He had marijuana sewn into his coat. He bought illegal drugs from a drug dealer and the attempted to bring them into the prison. How could it be that it was the considered that he had it sewn in and he was using it for his own personal use.
The under 18 year olds children from this parish were told by their parents to go to Sheriff Austin and tell him they took the signs and return them. For their honesty, they were put in prison clothing, photographed and placed on the front page of the paper. They also spent the night in jail and were not allowed to be bailed out until the morning. Even though they did not take all the signs that were missing from the entire parish, they were charged with this crime. The costs of the signs were acttually about $15 each. This amount was overly elevated to $100 per sign. The charge for them is over $5,000.00
So your posts suggest that these hardened criminal children who took a few road signs should receive a stiffer penalty and fine than a criminal defender with a college doctorate who is being paid by the State to defend other hardened criminals who took in contraband into the prison possibly for his clients??? I see you logic..NOT

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