Judge says Sharper can't be held without bail indefinitely

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 7:41 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS - A Los Angeles judge has ruled former Saint Darren Sharper will remain in a California jail until at least next Thursday.

Friday, Sharper appeared before Judge Renee Korn for an extradition hearing on whether he would be sent back to New Orleans to face aggravated rape charges. Sharper faces similar charges in Los Angeles.

The judge postponed the hearing until March 13. At issue, whether an arrest warrant and affidavit from New Orleans are enough to keep Sharper in custody. The state of California is now asking the state of Louisiana to formally charge Sharper.

"Her understanding of the law is she can only hold Darren Sharper for 10 days and that's why she's continued the hearing until next Thursday," said WWL-TV Legal Analyst Chick Foret.

"Judge Korn from California has put Leon Cannizzaro's office on the clock. She has said Mr. DA in New Orleans, you have until next Thursday to file formal charges. That can be through a Bill of Information, that can be through an indictment."

Meanwhile, Sharper's alleged accomplice in New Orleans, Erik Nunez made a court appearance in New Orleans. It was an was an emotionally-charged half hour, with prosecutors seeking a high bond to keep the rape suspect behind bars and defense attorneys arguing the charges against Nunez are "ludicrous."

Prosecutors wanted a million dollar bond.

The magistrate set it at $400,000, $200,000 for each aggravated rape charge.

"We don't think there's any evidence whatsoever in this case that connects our client to a crime and we believe essentially, an innocent person is being held in jail on a ridiculously high bond for no good reason," said Nunez's attorney Herbert Larson.

During the hearing, prosecutor David Pipes revealed Nunez called one of his alleged victims by phone and attempted to reach out to the other alleged victim. Pipes alleged that something he said amounted to witness intimidation.

Pipes also disclosed Nunez's DNA evidence was found on one of the victims. Nunez is a part-time waiter at a local steak house and an acquaintance of Sharper. The 26-year-old surrendered to police a week ago, on charges that he sexually assaulted the same two women now accusing Sharper of aggravated rape.

The attack allegedly happened in Sharper's apartment in the 700 block of Tchoupitoulas Street, last fall. The women told police they were raped while under the influence of an unknown substance.

Defense attorney Larson now wants to re-test the evidence. "You have to remember, this case dates back six months and there has been nothing is six months to show any crime committed by Erik Nunez," said Larson. A preliminary hearing is now scheduled in the case for March 21. As of late Friday afternoon, Nunez had not bonded out of jail.

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