SPRINGFIELD, LA (WAFB) - The trials for the mayor and police chief of the town of Springfield have been scheduled. They are accused of trying to cover up a DWI ticket in 2011.
Police Chief James Jones and Mayor Charles Martin were indicted a year later on felony charges of obstruction of justice, criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, injuring public records and criminal conspiracy to injure public records. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Jones' trial is set for April 28, 2015, while Martin's trial isn't scheduled to begin until June 15.
A series of legal filings, such as what could be used as evidence, kept the case from going to trial sooner.
The case dates back to April 2011 when a Springfield police officer stopped a woman driving the wrong direction on LA 22. Records show the woman, identified as Tyra Jones, blew 0.185, which is more than twice the legal limit, and was ticketed for DWI.
Later that same night, again the next day and even the following week, the officer alleges Martin "asked if he would have a problem if the mayor 'took care of his friend' and 'reduce the DWI to a reckless operation citation.'"
After refusing to reduce the charge initially, fearing retaliation, the officer told investigators he finally agreed.