Dennis Perkins trial delayed, wife’s trial possible for Tuesday

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal has agreed to allow the upcoming trial for Dennis Perkins to be postponed, allowing his attorney to attend another trial scheduled to start the same day.

Jury selection in the trial was set to start next Tuesday.

Prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office said late Wednesday they will now push to start the trial against his wife, Cynthia Perkins, next Tuesday instead.

It is unclear if the Cynthia Perkins trial will actually start that day. More legal maneuvering on that front is almost certain.

Her attorney, James Spokes, has already filed a motion to continue Cynthia’s trial. However, he said by phone this afternoon he does not expect presiding judge Erika Sledge to rule on that motion until next Monday. That would put her decision coming down just one day prior to the scheduled start of jury selection.

Because of a packed court calendar, the trial for Dennis Perkins will now likely not be held until sometime next year.

Perkins, a former high-ranking Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputy, is accused of multiple charges, including rape and producing child pornography.

His former school teacher wife, Cynthia, is also charged in the case and is set to be tried separately. The start date of her trial is unclear.

Attorney Jarrett Ambeau, who represents Dennis Perkins, is scheduled to represent another client in a death penalty case in East Feliciana parish next week.

“It is not possible to conduct both of these jury trials at the same time,” Ambeau wrote in his Request for Expedited Consideration filed with the First Circuit earlier this week.

Click here to see the first document from the First Circuit Court of Appeals

Click here to see the second document from the First Circuit Court of Appeals

Last month, District Judge Erika Sledge, the presiding judge in the Perkins case, denied Ambeau’s request to postpone the Perkins trial.

Ambeau asked the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal to overturn her decision and it did just in a ruling handed down late this afternoon.

Sledge previously ruled that Dennis and Cynthia could be tried separately. Prosecutors with Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office, who wanted a combined trial, asked the First Circuit to overturn that decision but the court did not.

“No matter the date or time, we stand ready to get justice for the victims and hold Dennis and Cynthia Perkins accountable,” s Landry spokesman Cory Dennis said Wednesday.

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