Peter LaFuria, right, and attorney Glen Vamvoras. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Monday, November 26, 2012 8:32 PM
Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case of former Lake Charles gynecologist Peter LaFuria agreed Monday to allow 25 items to be entered into evidence, concluding a pretrial proceeding to suppress evidence.
Judge David Ritchie said both sides must submit legal briefs by Dec. 13 arguing their stance on the motion to suppress evidence and a motion to change venue. Ritchie said he will issue a ruling on both motions Dec. 18.
LaFuria is charged with 186 counts of video voyeurism, 78 counts of sexual battery and five counts of molestation of a juvenile. The case dates from April 2007.
Defense attorney Glen Vamvoras said the 25 items entered into evidence included evidence logs and notes, letters from prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth to Vamvoras, letters from Killingsworth to the 14th Judicial District Court and a supplemental offense report.
Other allowed items were test scores and training documents of Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Patty Bailey and an affidavit from evidence custodian Jeremy Leroy on “his efforts to sort out the location of evidence at the time of seizure.”
Prosecutor Hugo Holland Jr. said they agreed to allow entering the items into evidence because it was “a more efficient use of the court’s time than fighting that stuff out in open court.” He said that prosecutors believe the evidence documents submitted by the defense aren’t relevant to the case.
Vamvoras said they requested the change of venue because the publicity surrounding the case has likely influenced potential jurors and could lead to an unfair trial.
“It’s going to be very hard to pick a jury that has not been influenced in some degree, one way or another, by what they’ve read, seen and heard,” he said.
Vamvoras said the questioning of 50 prospective jurors two weeks ago indicated that many people knew about the case and already had opinions on it.