TANGIPAHOA, La. – Tangipahoa District Attorney Scott Perrilloux dropped the remaining charges against Scott Lemoine on Wednesday.
Lemoine is the man who was arrested for cyberstalking and for solicitation of murder of Tangipahoa Judge Elizabeth Wolfe. Perrilloux dropped the solicitation of murder charge Tuesday.
It's the latest development in a complicated legal battle in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes. At the center of the fight is Daniel Hoover, a Springfield man who suffered a brain aneurysm back in June 2004.
At the time of his aneurysm, Daniel Hoover was married to Kelly Hoover. Two and a half years after the aneurysm, they divorced.
When Lemoine entered the picture, Kelly was now remarried to the stepson of Tangipahoa Parish Judge Elizabeth Wolfe. Lemoine is a childhood friend of Daniel Hoover.
According to a memorandum filed in federal court by Lemoine's attorney, Warren Montgomery, "Lemoine was given access to Daniel's Facebook page."
"He wrote Daniel's story as it had been told to him," the memorandum continues, "and he posted the story on Daniel's Facebook page after Daniel's father had read and approved the story."
"It's obvious that Judge Wolfe is involved with the visitation of Daniel's son," Lemoine's mother Gayle Venterella said, "and Scott was just trying to see if Daniel could get visitation. He didn't want legal, civil problems for anybody. He just wanted what was right for Daniel."
But according to Tangipahoa detectives, some of Lemoine's postings and e-mails went too far.
One of those Facebook postings was directed at Daniel Hoover's sister, Lori Barrient, a friend of Kelly Wolfe.
Lemoine sent friend requests to all of Barrient's friends with a note that said, "Maybe one of you can coax her into a comfortable position, then tie her down and call an exorcist."
"I think it was definitely harrassment," Detective Toby Agullard said. Aguillard is the cyber crimes specialist for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Department. "I think it was borderline threats as well. And I called him, and I told Mr. Lemoine, 'I'm a detective, I work for the Sheriff's Department in Tangipahoa Parish, and I'm going to get you arrested if you don't stop."
When asked what happened next, Detective Aguillard replied, "It continued."
Other postings were directed at Judge Elizabeth Wolfe and Kelly Wolfe.
"I asked them to stop putting all these things in the media," Kelly Wolfe said. "I thought that it was dangerous for my child. They had posted pictures of my child. They posted things about the visitation, basically, 'get this man's son back for him', which I took as an open invitation for harm to come to him."
At that point, Kelly Wolfe made a complaint against Scott Lemoine, and according to Detective Aguillard, so did Judge Wolfe and Lori Barrient.
In December 2009, Tangipahoa Deputies arrested Lemoine for cyberstalking.
"If the simple harassment and the subtle threats would have stopped," Aguillard explained, "this would have never happened, and that's really what I have hoped would be the outcome is that it would have simply stopped."
Lemoine was taken to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail. Along the way, Aguillard said he called Judge Wolfe and spoke to her husband.
Aguillard said calling the victim in a case like this one is common, and he treated it no differently because one of the victims was a judge.
"I was working it like I work any other case," Aguillard said. "And Judge Wolfe was, yes, a District Judge in this parish, but she was also a victim of a crime, so I investigated it to the best of my ability, just like I would any other case."
The memorandum from Lemoine's attorney quotes from the transcript of Aguillard's interview with Lemoine. "Detective Aguillard states that he is under pressure regarding this case because the case involves judges."
Aguillard said he was using a common police interviewing technique. "Part of that was letting him know, this is not about you, there's a bigger picture,” he said. “Just let me know what you did, it's that sort of thing. And that's what I was trying to accomplish."
"I've listened to the tape and I've read the transcript over and over," Lemoine's mother, Gayle Venterella said, "and he was just deliberately set up, there was no reason to arrest him."
It wasn't Scott Lemoine's first arrest. In a case heard in federal court in New Orleans, Lemoine was found not guilty by reason of insanity for threatening to bulldoze a chemical plant back in 2006.
According to Warren Montgomery's memorandum, Lemoine has been diagnosed with both a "grandiose delusional disorder" and a "persecutory delusional disorder".
Lemoine was on federal probation for that arrest when he was arrested on the cyberstalking charges in December 2009.
Two days after being put in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail, Lemoine was arrested again on new charges for solicitation for murder of Judge Elizabeth Wolfe. According to the police report, Lemoine offered another inmate, Brian Register, $10,000 to make a pipe bomb and put in Wolfe's Vehicle.
"Scott was in the Amite Jail for 36 hours before he was charged with Solicitation of Murder,” Venterella said. “And in Register's testimony, he'll say, Scott was on the phone 24/7. We had visited him twice, and we're not talking about weeks, we're talking about 36 hours."
In that 36 hours, Lemoine also allegedly wrote four letters to Register.
"Handwriting analysis, however, shows that the incriminating letters allegedly written by Lemoine were not written by Lemoine, but were fabricated by Register," the memorandum filed by Lemoine's attorney said.
The memorandum continues, "Register's motivation to fabricate evidence and falsely accuse Lemoine is readily apparent; during his initial interview, Register asks ‘if I do this do you think ya'll can help me out?’”
The court document also says Register wrote several letters to Judge Wolfe. "Register tells Judge Wolfe that he is 'going to testify on Scott Lemoine for you.' He also asks Judge Wolfe for help making bail."
Two months later, Register's bond was reduced from $100,000 to $25,000.
"I do not think Brian Register, on his own, wrote these letters about Scott, saying Scott wrote them," Venterella said. "I do not think so."
Because he was on federal probation at the time, Lemoine was taken into federal custody in January 2010. Montgomery's memorandum states, "Lemoine has been continuously incarcerated since Detective Aguillard arrested him on the cyberstalking charge on December 21, 2009. In the months that have followed, only three hearings have been scheduled." The memorandum continues, "None of these hearings was actually held."
Court documents show Judge Elizabeth Wolfe signed one Motion for Discovery in the cyberstalking case. The memorandum from Lemoine's attorney continues, "The order setting the discovery hearing on the cyberstalking charge was signed by Judge Wolfe in clear violation of her duty to recuse herself from the case, and Judge Wolfe set the hearing for June 12, 2010, a Saturday. Needless to say, that hearing did not occur either."
Even with all charges in Tangipahoa Parish against Lemoine now dropped, he will not be immediately released from federal confinement.
Because of his mental health history, there will be a hearing to determine if Lemoine should be released.
Lemoine's attorney said, for now, that hearing is set for Oct. 14.