LIVINGSTON - Both Cynthia and Dennis Perkins appeared before Judge Charlotte Foster for a 313 hearing last week.
However, neither circumstance was similar.
Cynthia appeared before Judge Foster Monday at 9 a.m. The court room was clear of any other traffic outside of the judge, her staff, Perkins, and both teams of lawyers. Her 313 hearing, which is established under 'Gwen's Law' as a hearing on setting bond for domestic violence offenders, arrived "no bond" at this time, although she retained her right to bond at a later date.
Her follow-up court date, with Judge Brenda Ricks, was set for this Thursday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m.
On the other hand, her husband Dennis faced a very different court room. Perkins was brought in during general civil court, as lawyers, defendants, and court personnel filed in-and-out. Perkins went through the same 313 hearing, wherein no bond was set, but he also retained his right to petition for bond at a later date.
His court date was set for 1 p.m., with Judge Bob Morrison, for Dec. 19.
The difference between their follow-up dates, and the manner in which they tried their 313 hearings, had to do with court schedules and judge assignments, according to courthouse officials.
313 hearings are required within 5 business days of the arrest, but the only available judge was Foster during that time slot.
The reason only she was available lies in the nature of the 21st Judicial District, which encompasses Livingston, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa Parishes. All judges rotate through the circuit, holding court in individual parishes - so space on their docket is only available for certain dates of the month, or extreme cases requiring jury trials.
That is also why their preliminary court dates are so far apart, courthouse officials said. Judge Ricks had an opening on her November docket in Livingston, with the availability to hear preliminary motions for Cynthia's trial.
Cynthia is represented by James Spokes, who made no motion to delay or postpone that trial date.
Dennis is represented by David Bourland, who is considered a 'high-power' attorney from Baton Rouge, who moved that the court date for Dennis be postponed until December due an "agreement over his schedule and the judge's schedule."
Evidence will be held until that hearing.
Dennis Perkins was arrested by Sabine Parish deputies on Oct. 22 before being booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center the next day. He faces 60 counts of production of pornography involving a juvenile under the age of 13, two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of possession of pornography involving a juvenile under the age of 13, two counts of video voyeurism, two counts of obscenity, and one count of obstruction of justice.
Perkins was arrested with his wife, Cynthia, a former Livingston Parish school teacher, as the result of a criminal probe led by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office with assistance from the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (LBI), Louisiana State Police, and Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.