BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A former East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office employee has admitted she transported cocaine stolen from the evidence vault at the downtown court building in 2012.
According to court documents, William Bates Colvin, 33, is accused of stealing 48 pounds of cocaine and five firearms from an evidence locker in 2012. He then allegedly took the drugs to the home he shared with Debra Vicknair Bell.
Colvin, son of State District Judge Kay Bates, was romantically involved with Bell, 57. Colvin and Bell are both former employees of the Clerk of Courts Office and worked there at the time the cocaine went missing from the evidence locker.
Original court documents say when Bell learned of the stolen cocaine, she ended the relationship with Colvin and moved out.
However, Baton Rouge Police investigators said Colvin and Bell recruited people including Bell's son Colt, Joseph Deroy, and Terrance Ramirez to distribute some of the stolen cocaine.
On Tuesday, Debra Bell admitted she transported the cocaine from the Baton Rouge state courthouse, however, her attorney says she did not learn until sometime later that what she transported in her car was cocaine.
Debra Bell pleaded guilty to charges of principal to malfeasance in office and possession of cocaine. She will be sentenced on August 10 to seven years of active supervised probation and will receive a suspended five-year prison term. The prosecutor says Bell also led authorities to where some of the guns were thrown into the canal.
Terrance Ramirez, Deroy Joseph and Colt Bell all originally pleaded not guilty to their charges.
Colt Bell changed his plea to guilty for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced in Feb. 2015 to 12 years with the first two years without the benefit of parole. His charge for extortion was dismissed and amended to conspiracy to commit extortion. He was sentenced to seven and a half years to run concurrent with his 12 year sentence.
Terrance Ramirez changed his plea to guilty for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced in Feb. 2015 to nine years with the first two years without the benefit of parole. His charge for extortion was dismissed and amended to conspiracy to commit extortion. He was sentenced to seven and a half years to run concurrent with his nine year sentence.
Colvin was indicted on drug, malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice charges in July 2013. He entered a not guilty plea in October 2013. He is scheduled to stand trial on November 2, 2015.
The prosecutor gave Colvin the offer to plead guilty to malfeasance in office, obstruction of justice and cocaine possession in exchange for other obstruction and drug counts being dismissed. He has until August 10, 2015 to make his decision.
Colvin faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.