Felon-Endorsed Judge Lets Repeat Violent Felon Go, Then He Kills A Cop

The judge who released a cop killer was known for her campaign ad featuring endorsements from convicted felons.

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana citizens and law enforcement officers have lashed out at a Louisiana judge, after she repeatedly granted bond reductions to a man who went on to murder a Zachary police officer on Monday night.

Zachary Police Department (ZPD) Reserve Officer Christopher Lawton, 41, was murdered in the line of duty, when he was intentionally struck and run over by a U-Haul truck driven by 33-year-old Albert Franklin, during an attempt to serve a felony narcotics warrant.

Officer Lawton, who served the ZPD on a part-time, unpaid basis, was also the Deputy Fire Chief of the Zachary Fire Department (ZFD), The Advocate reported.

ZPD Chief David McDavid didn’t hold back on Tuesday, when he declared that 19th Judicial District Court Judge Trudy White had “blood on her hands” with regards to Officer Lawton’s brutal death, WAFB reported.

“I want the judge to look at this man right here,” Chief McDavid said, as he held up two photographs of the fallen hero. "This man gave his life, twenty years as a fireman, ten years as a policeman, and was taken away from his family by somebody that continued to walk out that jail door every time he was arrested.”

"Uphold these laws. Quit reducing these bonds and letting these people out,” he told WAFB.

According to WBRZ, Franklin was also wanted for beating his girlfriend with an AR-15.

“She needs to be held accountable for her judicial mistake. That's my opinion and somebody needs to look into it,” the chief told WAFB. “It’s just, we can't continue to do this and allow these people to walk through revolving doors. It's just no sense in it."

​The chief previously expressed his outrage regarding White’s lenient treatment of career-criminal Franklin back in December of 2017 – and he warned her that her soft-on-crime deals were placing ZPD officers’ lives at risk.

"It's like a revolving door and it gets frustrating," Chief McDavid told WAFB at the time.

He explained that in November of 2017, Franklin was arrested on two counts of possession and distribution of manufactured drugs, possession of a firearm with drugs, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper lane usage, and failure to signal.

Franklin’s initial bond was set at $88,000, and was endorsed by one of White’s commissioners, WAFB reported.

But just one day later, White inexplicably amended the bond, and lowered it by $79,000.

Franklin walked out of the jail on a measly $9,000 security bond.

Within two weeks, Franklin was arrested on a new charge of possession of a stolen firearm. A different judge set his $5,000 bond, but added a note to “notify Judge White of new arrest,” WAFB reported.

Franklin ultimately bonded out on that charge, as well.

"Usually, you see judges tweaking the amount up or down a little bit, usually down, but this amount is dramatic," Dane Ciolino, a Loyola University Professor who teaches legal ethics, told WAFB. "It's not uncommon at all for judges to reduce bonds. What's unusual and somewhat striking in this case is how much the bond was reduced.”

Questions were also raised regarding the judge’s disproportionate reduction of bonds. During one of Franklin’s arrests, his passenger, Lana Rainwater, was also charged with drug and weapon offenses. Her bond was set at $46,000, where it remained.

“Well, that certainly raises questions because unless there's some major disparity between these co-defendants, for example, unless one of them has a significant criminal record that the other one does not have, unless one of them presents a greater risk of flight than the other, the bonds should really roughly be the same if they're charged with the same offenses," Ciolino said. "If there's good reason to reduce his bond, then there's certainly good reason to reduce hers.”

According to WAFB, Franklin was arrested on three other occasions in 2017 alone, for offenses including cocaine possession, theft of a trailer, possession of stolen items, and various drug and traffic offenses.

"I'm tired of seeing the same individuals being re-arrested over and over by our officers here who put their lives in danger every day and these people just walk out of jail like it's ‘Let's Make A Deal,’" Chief McDavid said.

"I just will ask Judge White, 'Why are you continuing to let this individual out? Why did you reduce his bond? Did you look at his criminal history and see all the charges he's had before? Did you read the probable cause and see the problems he's causing in the city limits of Zachary?'" he added.

“The system failed Chris Lawton,” Chief McDavid concluded. “This guy shouldn’t have been on the street.”

White stood accused of being lax on crime long before her interactions with Franklin, however.

During her 2014 re-election campaign, she donned her courtroom robe in a video alongside an orange jumpsuit-clad Jomo Jenkins, as he encouraged voters to keep her on the bench.

"I'm down here at the 19th but check this out, I ain't gonna be here that long 'cause Judge Trudy White is fixin' to send me back home,” Jenkins said in the video, as White smiled. “So if you want somebody to show you some love, vote for Trudy White on November the 4th."

In November of 2016, White mysteriously disappeared from the courtroom for three months, but still collected her full paycheck, The Advocate reported.

No public explanation for her absence was ever provided.

Franklin has been charged with first-degree murder, hit-and-run, damage to property, and fugitive from police in relation to Officer Lawton’s death.

Officer Lawton was the only officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the department, The Advocate reported on Tuesday.

Watch the judge’s bizarre 2014 campaign video below:

Comments (40)
No. 1-40
Rascal1966
Rascal1966

This judge is a disgrace!!!

Saints
Saints

There's got to be away of stopping judges that clearly favor criminals!!! Maybe she even personally knows this scum bags....

Bill d
Bill d

Just another activist judge. Some cases absolutely need mitigating factors help guide punishment, yet habitual offenders have no excuse. And dead cops and a torn up community is the result. Some people actually prefer that too, and they should all be kept away from civilized society.

CowGurlUP
CowGurlUP

POS!

Propolice
Propolice

I hope one of her releases comes back to see HER. She is a disgrace as well as mentally unbalanced.

CJnana
CJnana

Prayers to blood and blue. Put this criminal “judge” in jail !!! Throw away the key !

rds40
rds40

So the idiot liberal's want new gun laws ? You have a POS lime this who doesn't apply them.

Leoladyfla
Leoladyfla

Karma can’t come quick enough for some...

COMBAT101ST
COMBAT101ST

That Woman is not a Judge. I would be banned should I voice my real opinion.

Scattered
Scattered

She should be arrested. For murder. She is not a judge. She is as racist as they come. A liberal judge that thinks blacks are persecuted. We will find out she is a cop haters as well. And an Obama fan. She must be removed immediately, before anymore lives are lost. If not other lives will be lost, guaranteed!!!!

SheepDog1
SheepDog1

Wow, that's hard to even imagine. Where do these judicial candidates even come from? Doesn't Louisiana have a judicial review board?

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

I don’t understand how he was getting multiple bonds. In Mississippi you are only entitled to one bond. It you commit another felony your first bond is revoked and you sit your butt in jail! She is getting getting something from them thugs to be letting them out like that!! Somebody needs to investigate her!!

Betts1221
Betts1221

Sounds like "Judge " Trudy White has a big time love affair or maybe payback going on with Mr. Franklin! No question as to how she got her job.

Jmo
Jmo

Sorry excuse for a woman I hope one day her family suffers the consequence of her stupidity. She'll probably let them out to tho

Molady4leo
Molady4leo

There is no justification for what this 'judge' did.
Family should sue her for all she's worth'!

rover77
rover77

she was playing race politics and it got a cop killed

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

She needs to have any bodyguards removed and no bailiffs in her courtroom removed. Then we'll see what happens when someone comes at her. She's a disgrace to a normally honorable position. She needs to be removed and the powers that have that ability should step up and do that. Karma Judge, karma.

st125ealth
st125ealth

As a 34 year veteran police officer I can truly say that the criminal justice system in LA is broken. My suspicion is that this judge was in drug rehab when she went MIA for 3 months. Our governor lets career criminals out of jail only to victimize law abiding citizens over and over.

Jolyjungle
Jolyjungle

Her name should be changed to Judy Anti-White

bluedog_2g2
bluedog_2g2

This judge needs to be investigated by the ethics committee and should be suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation. Her decisions have definitely not been in the best interest of law abiding citizens, especially concerning repeat offender, Albert Franklin. It is obvious that Franklin is thumbing his nose at the law/justice system, knowing he has an out, with judge White.

James Nugly
James Nugly

It is very clear why this judge is letting these thugs run free, it is evident that she like the thrill of danger and she is possibly doing these felons sexually after they are released, this could explain her absence for the time she went incognito. Need I say more? It is a Democrat thing.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Did officer Lawton die because he hung on to a moving vehicle? Not clear from the media reporting.

Submarine2
Submarine2

Did not mean to hit like.
Worthless judge. She should be prosecuted.
Stupid _ <%^&(:"##:((

dfnizzi
dfnizzi

THIS is why the public has little respect for the judiciary. She is a prime example.

rwi2112
rwi2112

Why would you send a reserve on a Felony Narcotics Warrant ? Them guys are for directing traffic and working crowds.

RetNCPD
RetNCPD

Just look at her. Total reverse racist trying to right the white man's supposed wrongs against the poor oppressed black man. Wake up bitch. There are thousands of black men who are successful. F the ones who can't get their act together and don't put innocent people at risk playing your race card and exploiting your judicial powers.

Workingonsix
Workingonsix

This is just Obama with more Velcro on its head

amlee
amlee

Why do you think god keeps flooding and destroying Louisiana?

Divadeb
Divadeb

I believe in #Karma she should be disbarred,jailed&sued by the Officer's family for intentionally letting a felon who should've been in jail,she obstructed justice when she did not follow& enforce the law.

Southern Boy
Southern Boy

No, the Uhaul pinned him against a cart return at Walmart.

Southern Boy
Southern Boy

A Reserve Officer is a POST certified Officer. They go through all the same training.

pixiepup
pixiepup

She need to go to jail and keep her there.

RunCop
RunCop

C$$T

Hipcowboy
Hipcowboy

I hope they HANG her right beside that other POS Albert Franklin!

bulldog1394
bulldog1394

RWI 2112 in small towns with volunteer officers its not uncommon for reserves to assist with all warrants

Dthur1003
Dthur1003

Officer Lawton's family needs to SUE this BITCH !!!!

NYPDhwyFuzz
NYPDhwyFuzz

And if he did? I was pulling a perp from a stolen vehicle when he took off while I had grabbed him.

TCSO7801
TCSO7801

Obviously you have no idea of the same training Reserves receive. Like saying an Armed Forces Reservist isn't qualified to serve.

dindonuffin
dindonuffin

Why do so many black people, when in a position of authority, abuse and misuse it in favor of blacks? Black Americans are the only race that only roots for the worse in their community and most racist towards those who are educated, speak english not ebonics, who may dislike hip hop, wear their pants right, etc.

prophetess anna
prophetess anna

That judge needs to be disbarred!!! And she needs to go to jail and stay there for maybe 10 yrs. if not more.