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Friday, May 26, 2017
Southwest Louisiana ,
Peter LaFuria, right, and attorney Glen Vamvoras. (American Press Archives)

Peter LaFuria, right, and attorney Glen Vamvoras. (American Press Archives)

Motion in LaFuria case to be continued Tuesday

Last Modified: Friday, November 09, 2012 8:11 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

Detective Patty Bailey reiterated Friday that it was her understanding that a search warrant for Dr. Peter LaFuria’s medical practice encompassed his vehicle.

Bailey took the stand again Friday in a pretrial motion to suppress evidence. Bailey was on the stand Oct. 10 when the motion was continued until Friday.

Although Bailey completed her testimony, other witnesses were still to be called and the slow-moving hearing will resume at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Glen Vamvoras, a defense lawyer for LaFuria, said the hearing was taking time because “this hearing is really about resolving a critical issue. We shouldn’t just gloss over it.”

LaFuria is charged with 186 counts of video voyeurism, 78 counts of sexual battery and five counts of molestation of a juvenile

Even if the hearing concludes Tuesday, Judge David Ritchie said he won’t rule on the motion to suppress, or another motion to change venue, until early December, possibly Dec. 7.

“It’s going slow, but we’ve got to make sure our T’s are crossed and our I’s dotted,” prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth said. “We want to make sure things are done correctly. The judge is doing a good job of making sure things are filed correctly.”

The hearing revolves around whether LaFuria’s truck was included in a search warrant for LaFuria’s medical practice and the vehicles on the premises. LaFuria’s truck was searched at his house, Bailey said. Detectives found digital evidence that led them to request a search warrant for his house, she said.

Bailey previously testified that detectives initially asked for a search warrant of LaFuria’s medical practice and his home, but the judge gave them a search warrant for the medical practice first and told them to come back if they needed another for the home.

“Tell me why that search warrant gave you authority to go four miles” and search LaFuria’s truck at his house, Vamvoras asked Bailey, also asking her if she had kept a copy of the initial search warrant that the judge rejected. She said she had not.

“Granted, it says, ‘on the premises,’ but we had no intention of searching every vehicle,” Bailey said. “Only his.”

Bailey said detectives believed LaFuria would be at work they day they searched his practice and acted under the assumption that the search warrant was for his practice and his vehicle.

“I believed in preparation of that search warrant that his vehicle would be covered,” she said.

Bailey said detectives were concerned because a camera could be easily transported.

Under re-direct questioning from Killingsworth, Bailey said there was also concern that LaFuria was scheduled to take a deep-sea fishing trip and “you could lose a lot of things in the ocean.”

Vamvoras also questioned Bailey regarding an evidence list that didn’t tell the origin of items taken from LaFuria’s truck.

“I think that speaks to the fact they knew it didn’t fall under the warrant,” Vamvoras said.

Also Friday, Erin Miller, an investigator for LaFuria’s defense team, testified about the amount of media coverage the case has received. She said that the case was mentioned in the American Press 53 times in 2007, some of those legal advertisements, and has received mention in the paper 15 times this year.

On KPLC, 34 news stories were played in 2008 and 14 or 15 this year, she said.

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