Cold case murder resurfaces during questioning of well-known attorney

Joel Porter (Source: EBRSO)
Joel Porter (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A well-known, Baton Rouge attorney was arrested Wednesday for allegedly violating a temporary restraining order in place against a former client Ashley Smith. Today, strong and sometimes salacious accusations were flying from nearly every side.

Baton Rouge attorney, Joel Porter, tried speaking to reporters, before his lawyer pulled him away.

"I've given you all a press release," Porter said in passing after a hearing was postponed in City Court.

Porter claims Baton Rouge Police Department's cold case murder detective John Dauthier is setting him up. In the press release, Porter all but calls Dauthier a "dirty cop," alleging the detective has caused many to be wrongfully convicted.

"As far as I'm concerned, about Dauthier, this is all a frame job by Dauthier and the facts will speak for itself."

But why is a cold case detective so interested in an attorney facing a misdemeanor charge?

"My only concern or involvement with Mr. Porter is that I'm investigating the brutal stabbing death of his wife, which occurred [on March 14,] 1985," Dauthier explained. "That is my only involvement or concern with Mr. Porter. Any other statements that he has made are blatantly false, and that will come out eventually."

No arrest has been made for the murder of Denise Porter. The case remains unsolved. That case, however, was not the reason why Porter was in court today.

Porter was arrested Wednesday, accused of violating a restraining order against a woman he referred to in the same release as "emotionally disturbed".

"I'm not emotionally disturbed," Ashley Smith, the woman who filed the protective order, said. "Mr. Porter did legal services for me in exchange to give me oral sex. When I didn't want to have anything to do with him, he started harassing and stalking me. He's also been following my family and he's also been following me.

"I'm going to seek an attorney," she added. "I ran from him in November when he chased me and my friend home, but I'm not running from him anymore."

Judge Alexander will have all parties back in court May 5.

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