Louisiana Record

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Defense attorney for Gravois seeks grand jury transcripts

Lawsuits

By Carrie Bradon | Oct 12, 2018


Gravois' attorney, Matthew Chester, requested access to the grand jury transcripts from a 2016 grand jury hearing.

CONVENT –– The defense attorney for the director of operations for St. James Parish says he cannot yet see grand jury transcripts that could exonerate his client.

Blaise Gravois and Parish President Timmy Roussel face accusations of malfeasance for allegedly using public resources and workers to make improvements to private property. 

Gravois' attorney, Matthew Chester, requested access to the grand jury transcripts from a 2016 grand jury hearing. Chester has yet to hear from Judge Tess Stromber of the 23rd Judicial District on his motion. 

"We have yet to receive the judge's written reasons for denying our motion for these grand jury transcripts, but we have already noticed our intent to seek appellate relief from it," Chester told the Louisiana Record

Chester believes the transcripts, if he is allowed to access them, may contain valuable information regarding his client's case and the allegations brought against him.

"In our view, buttressed by several pieces of convincing proof that was submitted at the time of the original motion, and in light of the Fifth Circuit's December 2017 appellate opinion in this case indicating that these transcripts were highly pertinent to contested issues in this matter (including prosecutorial misconduct committed by the State during the course of its investigation)," Chester said. "This case is the 'poster child' for when grand jury transcripts should be provided."

Chester is a lawyer with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C.

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23rd Judicial District Attorney St James Parish

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