VILLE PLATTE, La. — The girlfriend of a man who was shot and killed by a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges she assaulted the deputy after intervening in his struggle with her boyfriend.
The Advocate reports that 21-year-old DeQuince Brown entered her plea to new, reduced charges that include battery of a police officer and attempted disarming of a peace officer. Brown originally faced a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.
Last month, a grand jury declined to indict Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Holden Lafleur in the July 6 shooting death of 27-year-old DeJuan Guillory.
A State Police statement after the shooting said Brown jumped on the deputy’s back, bit him and tried to grab his gun while he was struggling to handcuff Guillory.
The police version has been disputed by Joe Long, a lawyer who represents relatives of Guillory and recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. Long has said Brown was trying to stop the deputy from killing her boyfriend and only jumped on his back after the deputy fired a first shot at Guillory, even though the man was lying on his stomach, being handcuffed with one hand behind his back.
Brown’s trial is scheduled to start on May 14.
Her mother, Suzette Brown, told the newspaper that the new charges are a “slight relief compared to attempted murder.” She also defended her daughter’s actions.
“I think she did all the right things that night,” Suzette Brown said. “We just want to see her vindicated.”
In a July 10 summary of its findings, the State Police said Guillory struck the deputy in the head, knocking him to the ground and “dazing him with a possible loss of consciousness,” after the deputy stopped the all-terrain vehicle that Guillory was driving. After the deputy stood up and drew his gun, Guillory heeded a command to lie on the ground, but began to struggle with the deputy when he tried to handcuff him, State Police said.
Lafleur is white; Guillory was black.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com