Det. Raymond Calais testified that prior to picking the suspect out of a photographic lineup, the victim accidentally witnessed the suspect being questioned by police in the BBPD detectives’ office.
But Kazi Rahman, the clerk at Russell’s Food Mart when it was robbed Sept. 22, told the court that Calais had in fact driven him to the police station and let him view the interrogation via closed-circuit TV.
Chief of Police P.J. Hebert, who was not chief when the armed robbery was investigated, said Calais has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
District Attorney Chester Cedars said he is looking into possible perjury charges against Calais.
The lineup evidence against 21-year-old Stephan Barker of Breaux Bridge is tainted, Cedars said, but that is not tantamount to acquittal.
According to court records, Judge John E. Conery released Barker on a $5,000 personal surety bond and granted a defense request that he be allowed to go live with his mother in Georgia pending trial in the case.
Barker had been in jail since his arrest some six months ago.
Wednesday’s proceeding was a hearing in a motion by Barker’s attorney, public defender Ferdinand Valteau, to suppress evidence of the lineup evidence.
Prosecutor Kim Kidd produced Calais to explain the presence of the victim and eyewitness during the questioning of the suspect.
Judge Conery himself called another BBPD officer, Darren Benoit, who contradicted Calais’ testimony. The court then issued a “instanta subpoena” for Rahman and heard his testimony in the afternoon.
Perjury in this case carries a sentence of up to five years at hard labor and a fine of up to $10,000.
Calais could not be reached for comment.