Roland Bernard III, 16, denied to enter a plea after Judge Marilyn Castle denied the motion to quash the grand jury’s indictment to try Bernard as an adult for second degree murder.
Guidry attempted to convince Judge Castle that the grand jury’s indictment was unconstitutional because the grand jury indicted Bernard without giving appropriate notice to Bernard’s family and attorney, and because he was taken to a St. James Parish juvenile facility without notifying his parents.
Judge Castle felt the District Attorney’s handling of the indictment was in accordance with the Louisiana Children’s Code which defines the laws regarding trying juveniles as adults for certain crimes, including second degree murder. The District Attorney’s Office stated that there is no notice required to transfer a juvenile after an indictment is made to try the juvenile as an adult.
Because Guidry’s proof of evidence was insufficient, Judge Castle denied his motion to quash. Guidry felt his client was entitled to some type of due process, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; however, the Judge concluded the way the law is written under the Louisiana Children’s Code, there was no inconsistency in the way Bernard’s grand jury indictment was handled.
Guidry also brought it to the judge’s attention that Bernard was given two separate bond amounts from two separate judges, the first being $100,000 and the second $520,000. Judge Castle said that the bond stands at $520,000.
Guidry waived the right for formal arraignment and said his client denied to enter a plea. Judge Castle stated for the record that the plea will be not guilty by default and passed a motion to set a date for trial within 30 days.
Bernard was taken back to the Vermilion Parish Correctional Facility to await trial; he was not bonded out.
Bernard is the second juvenile facing murder charges to be tried as an adult in Abbeville’s history.