Trial date set for Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa in bribery case

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A trial date has been set in the bribery case against accused Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa.

The trial for Matassa, who was indicted by a grand jury on bribery charges in March 2017, is scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 10.

Olin Berthelot was also indicted in this case, for allegedly bribing Wayne Lawson to drop out of the Gonzales City Council race.

The trial for Berthelot is scheduled for March 13. Both Berthelot and Matassa are charged with felony election offenses involving bribery.

"When we come back, there will be some witnesses that will testify about some evidentiary matters that the judge has to make a determination on so we're moving," said Asst. Attorney General Jeff Traylor. "We just have to be patient but the process is moving along."

At a motion hearing Tuesday, Matassa's lawyer, Lewis Unglesby requested the case be tried in Donaldsonville so the jury will be "vast and diverse."

Traylor said location change wouldn't matter. The jury would be the same.

The next motion hearing in Matassa's case will be at 10 a.m. March 27 in Judge Tommy Klieber's courtroom.

"We are anxious to have our hearing on March 27," Unglesby said. "We think that will solve a lot of the questions. Our position has always been the same. Kenny didn't commit any crimes. But this is a political case."

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