Son of judge pleads not guilty to stealing 16 lbs of cocaine from evidence room

William Bates Colivn (Source: EBRSO)
William Bates Colivn (Source: EBRSO)
Debra Bell (Source: EBRSO)
Debra Bell (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The son of an East Baton Rouge Parish judge entered a not guilty plea Thursday morning to multiple charges, including of stealing nearly 16 pounds of cocaine from an evidence locker.

William Bates Colvin, son of Judge Kay Bates, and a former employee with the Clerk of Courts Office, has been charged with obstruction of justice and malfeasance in office. He was an evidence room employee.

Colvin, 30, was indicted on drug, malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice charges in July. The drugs were stolen out of an evidence locker in December 2012.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Colvin stole the cocaine then took the drugs the home he shared with his girlfriend 55-year-old Debra Bell. When Bell learned of the stolen cocaine she ended the relationship and moved out.

Bell was also indicted on malfeasance in office charges, she was also a Clerk of Court employee. She, too, pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Four other co-defendants also pleaded not guilty.

Investigators say both Colvin and Bell have admitted to passing the cocaine on to others for sale in the Baton Rouge area.

"What were doing now is a simple process. We want to see what all the evidence is so we can see who is accountable for what, who can take responsibility for what, and who doesn't have to take responsibility for," said Frank Holthaus, Colvin's defense attorney.

"Were I a defense attorney, it would be upon seeing what the evidence is. I'd like to resolve my issue in my clients favor as quickly as possible; quite often, sometimes if the train leaves the station and your not on, it there might be no deal," said Prosecutor Prem Burns.

Most courtroom observers believe this case will never actually go to trial because of what some say is overwhelming evidence against Colvin.

A motions date for Colvin has been set for January 27, 2014.

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