Legal Question in Criminal Law in Louisiana

December 29, 2020

My name is Reverend James M. Gradnigo, and I am the Uncle of Lawrence Gradnigo who was viciously attacked on are about July, 2019 at a fishing spot in Vinton, Louisiana. Lawrence had an aluminum bat broken over his scull.

Matthew Joseph, Jr., who inflicted the damage, was arrested and jailed, and he subsequently bonded out. I don’t know what the young man was charged with, but it should have been attempted murder, because if my nephew hadn’t run, (and I don’t know how he did from the blows he took) Matthew Joseph, Jr. would have murdered my nephew.

But now, TO OUR ASTONISHMENT, the family has found out that the charges have been dropped. And, WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY.

And, since the charges have been dropped, Matthew Jr. (always in his vehicle) passes by my nephew turns up his music and beats his chest, as if to say “the DA has dropped the charges, and ain’t nothing you can do about it.” IN MY NEPHEW’S WORDS “UNCLE JAMES THAT IS A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW”.

My words to my nephew are “we don’t need you in jail.” God says “stand still and I’ll fight your battles.” “Vengeance is Mine saith the Lord.”

I forgot to mention in my letter to the District Attorney’s Office that this crime was also committed on state property, where a young mentally ill young man was also assaulted by Matthew Joseph, Jr. (Lawrence stepson).

Again, why were those charges dropped?

Asked on 12/29/20, 11:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Casanave Andrew M. Casanave

Rev. Gradnigo,

Only the District Attorney has the authority to dismiss criminal charges. Since the new year will bring a new DA (with almost the exact same Assistant DAs), I suggest you make an appointment to see the new DA and ask about it. I also suggest that you help your nephew retain a capable personal injury lawyer. Since it happened on state property, the state might also be responsible for your nephew's injuries.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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Answered on 12/30/20, 8:14 am

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