Skip to comments.Marksville,LA, Men Given Probation in Voter-Fraud Case
Posted on 09/25/2002 5:50:20 AM PDT by Theodore R.
Two convicted of voter fraud get probation Steve Bannister / Staff Reporter Posted on September 25, 2002 MARKSVILLE - Two Marksville men convicted of voter fraud in the mayoral election have been fined and placed on probation.
The sentences for Lincoln Carmouche, 66, and Larry Dauzat, 48, were handed down Tuesday by 12th Judicial District Judge Billy Bennett.
Both defendants supported incumbent Mayor Richard Michel in the election last spring. Michel was re-elected, defeating John Ed Laborde.
Both defendants were convicted in separate bench trials by Bennett. Dauzat was found guilty of offering to buy a vote; Carmouche, of bribing a voter.
Each received a suspended, two-year prison sentence and two years of supervised probation.
Dauzat was fined $1,050 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. Carmouche was fined $2,050 and ordered to perform 64 hours of community service.
Each also is required to pay a monthly $50 probation supervision fee.
Bennett set a special probation condition. He ordered the defendants to be under house arrest, beginning three days before any election, including absentee voting. They are to remain under house arrest until the voting ends.
Bennett also sentenced Dauzat to 60 days in jail and Carmouche to 90 days in jail as probation conditions. But Bennett indicated the men could avoid going to jail if they comply with their probation conditions.
Bennett said he heard reports of Laborde's family been threatened by the defendants. If that continues, he said, the defendants will serve the jail time.
In handing down the sentences, Bennett noted that both defendants are former law enforcement officers with no prior felony convictions.
Although not excusing the defendants' behavior, Bennett said what they did has long been tolerated in Avoyelles Parish.
"They have been involved in politics for the entirety of their adult lives and vote buying has probably always been a part of the political process in which they were involved," Bennett said.
"Vote buying, for the most part, has been readily accepted in our society for many years. In one manner, this court considers Larry Dauzat and Lincoln Carmouche to be guinea pigs for those vote buyers who went before and those vote buyers who will come after."
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