Louisiana Record

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Supreme Court suspends former East Baton Rouge district attorney after domestic battery charge


By Karen Kidd | Feb 10, 2020

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NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Former East Baton Rouge District Attorney David Gardner deBlieux has been suspended following a split Louisiana Supreme Court decision evaluating his 2017 arrest for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife and another man.

"[DeBlieux] caused physical injuries to his wife and her guest and property damage to her home and vehicle," the Supreme Court said in its Jan. 29 attorney disciplinary proceeding. "His actions also created the potential for even more serious injuries, or even death, to his wife, her guest, or himself, and the potential for harm to his children."

In its 26-page disciplinary proceeding, the Supreme Court's majority did not impose a two-year suspension recommended in September by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, but instead suspended deBlieux for a year.

Justices James Genovese, Jefferson Hughes III and John Weimer, along with retired Judge James Boddie Jr., concurred with deBlieux's suspension. Boddie, who formerly sat the 4th Judicial District Court bench, had been appointed justice ad hoc in place of Justice Marcus Clark

Chief Justice Bernette Johnson dissented while justices William Crain and Scott Crichton dissented in part, with Crain concurring with Johnson's reasons for her dissent.

DeBlieux was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 15, 2004, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. He had no prior discipline, according to the disciplinary proceeding. In addition to having served as the district attorney in East Baton Rouge, he is listed as a Baton Rouge attorney.

In March 2017, deBlieux was accused of a "violent tirade" at his estranged wife's home and later stipulated to three misdemeanor counts of simple battery, domestic abuse battery, and simple criminal damage to property. He also stipulated to felony unauthorized entering of an inhabited dwelling.

His two minor children were in his car watching, screaming and crying during the lengthy incident.

The dissenting justices disagreed with the suspension length, which Crichton described in his dissent as "unduly lenient," and said they would have imposed the LADB-recommended suspension of two years. Johnson said in her dissent that she would have opted for the longer suspension, given the seriousness of deBlieux's misconduct and "the potential for more serious harm."

"I find it even more troubling that these events took place at approximately 2 a.m. with [deBlieux]'s minor children present," Johnson said in her dissent.

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Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary BoardLouisiana Supreme Court