Separate trials ordered in Perkins case

Separate trials ordered in Perkins case
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 1:31 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The trials of Dennis and Cynthia Perkins will be held separately, a judge ruled Friday.

They were previously scheduled to go on trial together next month.

Dennis Perkins will be tried first. His trial is currently set to start July 12.

The couple is accused of multiple charges including rape, producing child pornography, and participating in feeding desserts laced with his semen to school children. Dennis Perkins, a former Livingston parish sheriff’s deputy, is also accused of sexual abuse of an animal. The couple has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Dennis Perkins is represented by defense attorney Jarrett Ambeau.

Ambeau previously asked presiding Judge Erika Sledge to sever the trials, allowing each defendant to be tried separately. Ambeau said that is because Cynthia Perkins has indicated she will point the finger at her husband, accusing him of putting her up to it all. Ambeau says his client has a constitutional right not to be tried at the same table as one of his accusers.

Sledge previously denied a request to separate the trials. Ambeau asked the judge again today to reconsider the request. She said new court documents filed since her last ruling showed enough evidence to support Ambeau’s argument. With that, she ordered that the trials be held separately.

Prosecutors from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office pushed for a combined trial to avoid young witnesses from having to testify twice.

Ambeau currently has another trial set to start on July 12. Because of that, he asked Judge Sledge to move the Dennis Perkins trial to a later date but she declined. Ambeau said he plans to appeal that decision.

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