Crash victim's family wants DA to recuse himself

Teri Parker (Source: Family)
Teri Parker (Source: Family)
Victoria Gosserand (Source: Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office)
Victoria Gosserand (Source: Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office)

By David Spunt - bio | email

NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - Family members of a crash victim want the district attorney to recuse himself from prosecuting the case because of his close ties to the family of the accused.

"I don't trust Ricky Ward and the reason for that is because last time I talked with him, he told me to my face that this girl's family that hit my daughter, they were very good friends," said John Parker, the victim's father. "I cannot set a precedent of recusing myself in cases because I know or happen to be acquainted with someone," said District Attorney Ricky Ward.

Parker said he wants the case argued by a prosecutor from the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General. Ward argued he is obligated to take the case. He added in order for him to step aside, all family members must sign a formal letter and send it to his office. Parker admitted he did not sign the letter, but claimed he did not know it was required.

"I'm willing to sign the letter and I told Ricky to his face I will sign the letter and it will be signed," Parker stated.

Teri Parker, 23, was killed as she sat in the passenger's seat of a car while heading home from work two days before Christmas. According to the New Roads Police Department, the car she was in was hit by Victoria Gosserand, 23, of Ventress. Records show Gosserand's blood alcohol level was almost four times the legal limit. She was charged with DWI.

Kyle Riviere, the driver of the car, was released from Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. His family has not requested Ward be taken off the case. Riviere is also 23 years old.

The grand jury hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12. If Gosserand is indicted and later convicted in trial, she could face a minimum of five years behind bars.

Court records show this is Gosserand's second DWI arrest. The first case is still pending.

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