Sen. Derrick Shepherd said that he did only one thing wrong last Saturday: he failed to call police and report what he has described as threats against his mother and sister. But Sen. Shepherd is accused of doing far worse: forcing entry into his ex-girlfriend Thaise Ashford’s home, punching her in the stomach, breaking a bedroom door and stealing her Blackberry and $100. When Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies went to arrest him, they say they found him at a house in the Stonebridge subdivision with two women, one of whom was giving him a lap dance.
Government lawyers argued Tuesday that Sen. Shepherd is the threat. They wanted U.S. Magistrate Louis Moore Jr. to revoke his bond and put him in jail while he awaits trial in October on charges that he helped convicted felon Gwendolyn Moyo launder more than $141,000 in fraudulent bond fees.
The magistrate instead ordered home incarceration and an electronic monitoring device for Sen. Shepherd and ordered him not to have any contact with Ms. Ashford. He should follow those conditions scrupulously. In the meantime, Jefferson Parish authorities should continue to investigate what happened Saturday night.
Ms. Ashford recanted her story at the federal bond revocation hearing Tuesday. She now says that she and Sen. Shepherd are still in a relationship and that he was in her home at her invitation. Her door was already broken, she said, and she and the accused had traded cell phones so they could check out each others’ calls.
But the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says evidence — including scrapes on her wrist and stomach — back up her original complaint. They also have statements from her mother and sister who say Sen. Shepherd banged on their door at 4 a.m. and made a series of phone calls to the sister’s cell phone after leaving Ms. Ashford’s home.