Prosecutor accused of misconduct; plea withdrawal sought

Author(s): VICK.I FERSTEL RIVER PARISHES BUREAU Date: November 1, 1989 Section: NEWS

DONALDSONV1LI.F, - An attorney for a Gonzales man originally charged with multiple counts of drug racketeering has accused the district attorney of prosecutorial misconduct and asked the court to allow his client to withdraw his guilty plea. Adrian C. Waguespack, 37, of 42200 Richard Waguespack Road, had agreed to forfeit his airplane and other possessions after pleading guilty on Sept. 14 to conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

Waguespack's attorney, Thomas Damico of Baton Rouge, alleges that 23rd Judicial District Attorney Donald Carmouche and his staff engaged in misconduct by not producing all the evidence favorable to his client during the plea negotiations and by threatening to take "further detrimental action" against Waguespack's family unless he agreed to the plea bargain.

"It's all frivolous. They always allege all these things," Carmouche said.

Damico took issue.

"I do not file frivolous motions. 1 can and will prove the allegations in the motion," Damico said. "I feel confident that after the judge hears the testimony, then he'll have no alternative than to allow the withdrawal of the plea."

Carmouche, in a press release, said Damico had full access to the state's files and went through extensive pretrial discovery hearings "at which time all the state's documentary and tangible evidence was made available to them."

Carmouche said he also made available all transcripts of statements by witnesses that could have been used at the trial.

Waguespack had been indicted on three counts of drug racketeering along with Charles E. Hughes Jr. of Gonzales and on other drug charges. Waguespack allegedly used his company, ACW Inc., as a cover for cocaine sales.

After the plea agreement, Carmouche told the State-Times the case against Waguespack was a "long shot" and said he would have relied heavily on testimony from two convicted drug dealers. He also said the state had no cocaine to introduce into evidence.

District Judge A.J. Kling Jr. had deferred Waguespack's sentencing until Nov. 17 pending completion of a presentence investigation, but

that now will be put on hold until the show-cause hearing on the motion to withdraw.

The plea agreement limits Waguespack's maximum sentence to 10 years at hard labor. In return, Waguespack agreed to cooperate with authorities.

Waguespack also agreed to forfeit a 1972 Cessna 21OL single-wing airplane valued between $35,000 and $40,000, a 1986 CMC pickup truck valued between $8,000 and $10,000, two sets of gold coins of undetermined value, two U.S. savings bonds of undetermined value, a radio transceiver of undetermined value and $8,500 in cash seized from two safe deposit boxes.

Carmouche said Waguespack remains free on a $100,000 bond. Copyright 1989 Capital City Press, Baton Rouge, La.