Legal expert blasts Louisiana judge in Madi Brooks case for his ‘inappropriate’ comment

EXCLUSIVE: ‘The judge has already put his thumb on the scale’: Legal expert fears Louisiana justice has JEOPARDIZED Madi Brooks rape case for ‘inappropriately’ commenting on evidence and condemning four accused men before trial

Legal experts have blasted a judge for making ‘inappropriate comments’ while deciding on bond for the four defendants charged in connection with the rape of LSU student Madi Brooks.

The 19-year-old died after being hit by a ride-share car at 3am on January 15, when she was dropped off by four men who had picked her up at a college bar.

A lawyer representing the men argued that a video one of his clients had shot, showing Madi slurring her words after the alleged assault, would prove the innocence of the accused.

But Louisiana Judge Brad Myers said that the ‘evidence was clear’ and showed proof of criminality – with the men ‘callously’ laughing at Madi.

Madi Brooks, 19, died after being hit by a ride-share car at 3am on January 15 when she was dropped off by four men who picked her up at a college bar

Madi Brooks, 19, died after being hit by a ride-share car at 3am on January 15 when she was dropped off by four men who picked her up at a college bar

Adanté Pointer, civil rights attorney and co-founder of Oakland, California-based Pointer and Buelna, Lawyers for the People

Louisiana Judge Brad Myers set bond for the three adults involved in the incident on Tuesday

Louisiana Judge Brad Myers  (right) set bond for the three adults involved in the incident on Tuesday. Civil rights attorney Adanté Pointer (left) has blasted the comments made by the judge as ‘inappropriate’ 

Madi, a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, was seen ‘drunkenly’ staggering into a car with the group before her death. Police claim she was anally raped by two of them as two others watched.

Judge Myers set bond for the three adults involved in the incident on Tuesday, with a 17-year-old boy charged with third degree-rape remaining in juvie.

Kaivon Washington, 18, is also accused of raping the LSU student. 

Everett Lee, 28 – Washington’s uncle – and the driver of the car, Casen Carver, 18, were arrested and charged as accomplices to the third-degree rape.

A legal expert has now slammed the judge for his ‘inappropriate comment’, saying it will ‘taint the public and potential jury pool’ against the defendants.

Adanté Pointer, civil rights attorney and co-founder of Oakland, California-based Pointer and Buelna, Lawyers for the People, said that the defendants should ‘make efforts’ to remove Judge Myers from the case.

Pointer told DailyMail.com: ‘In a bond hearing, the judge is really just meant to determine whether or not the person can be released from custody.

‘It is inappropriate to comment on the strength of the evidence or the guilt of the accused. The principle is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

‘Determining bond or the conditions of release are only there to ensure that person shows up to court, not to determine if they are guilty or innocent. Or how guilty they appear to him.

Casen Carver, 18, (left) Kaivon Washington, 18, (center) and Everett Lee, 28, (right) were all arrested on rape-related charges together with an unnamed 17-year-old boy

Casen Carver, 18, (left) Kaivon Washington, 18, (center) and Everett Lee, 28, (right) were all arrested on rape-related charges together with an unnamed 17-year-old boy

Madi was a regular at the bar, posting many photographs of herself with friends on social media

Madi was a regular at the bar, posting many photographs of herself with friends on social media 

Madison 'Madi' Brooks, 19, had been out drinking at Reggie's bar in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the night of her death

Madison ‘Madi’ Brooks, 19, had been out drinking at Reggie’s bar in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the night of her death

Shocking incidents at LSU bar Reggie’s, where Madi Brooks was last seen

Reggie’s bar, an infamous Baton Rouge venue known for underage drinking and violence, has had its liquor license suspended again following the death of 19-year-old Madi Brooks.

The bar owner, Darin Adams, whose sports bar is known for its taxidermy animal heads and confederate flag décor, has refused to comment.

Adams has been in hot water before, with Baton Rouge police raiding the bar in July 2017 and suspending its license for 45 days, after 37 people were arrested – many of them for underage drinking.

In September 2015 a drunk 21-year-old was arrested for waving a loaded firearm at people, threatening to open fire.

The following month, a 19-year-old man was charged with rape after attacking an intoxicated woman who had become separated from her sister at the bar and was trying to find her way home.

And in January 2016, a star of the LSU football team, Dillon Gordon, 22, was stabbed multiple times in the bar.

In May 2022, 16-year-old Carltez Tucker was shot dead outside Reggie’s, and a 24-year-old woman was injured. Detectives arrested three and said they believed the shooting stemmed from a stolen firearm that Tucker had taken.

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‘To make those kinds of comments is inappropriate and frankly will taint the public and potential jury pool against the defendants.

‘The judge should not even have been looking at the evidence, he has to take the police report as true. He is not supposed to be weighing up the evidence and commenting on the evidence at the bond hearing.

‘I certainly think that the defendants should make every effort to make sure that this same judge does not continue on the case because this one has already made a decision in his mind that these young men are guilty.

‘The judge has already put his thumb on the scale.’

Lawyer Ron Haley, who represents Washington in the case, argued before the court appearance what happened to Madi was a ‘tragedy but definitely not a crime’.

Myers told the court ‘the evidence to me is clear,’ adding that it was obvious a crime had occurred before Madi died – though the footage does not depict the assault.

He also claimed that there was an argument and she got out of the car, saying that the men ‘did not put her off on the side of the road’.

Pointer added: ‘This is a very high-profile case and the young men are being charged in a court of public opinion.

‘If he the lawyer thought that he has evidence showing that a crime was not committed, then you can understand why he would release it, and provide it to the DA and talk about it in public.

‘However, any good attorney worth their salt knows that unless the video is unequivocal in showing consent, then there are multiple ways and perspectives of how people can view the same item of evidence. Innocent to one and proof of crime to another.

‘Especially when you have defendants who made statements to investigators that are frankly not helpful.’

Prosecutor Stuart Theirort said at the hearing that the state would be seeking upgraded charges of first-degree rape and plan to convene a grand jury in the case.

Louisiana’s first-degree rape statute carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Madison Brooks (left) seen behind the bar at Reggie's with two sorority sisters. She had been drinking at the bar before she was raped and fatally struck by a car on January 14

Madison Brooks (left) seen behind the bar at Reggie’s with two sorority sisters. She had been drinking at the bar before she was raped and fatally struck by a car on January 14

When contacted by DailyMail.com the office of Judge Myers refused to give a response saying: ‘We cannot comment on ongoing cases.’

All three adult suspects appeared in court via a video link and were ordered to remain under house arrest and wear ankle monitors.

Carver is being held on a $50,000 bond, Lee on a $75,000 bond, and Washington on a $150,000 bond.

The bar where Madi worked, according to several social media posts, has also had their responsibility for the incident called into question.

Surveillance footage surrounding Reggie’s bar, where the group met, shows Madi drunk and stumbling around, according to police documents.

The Louisiana ATC has confirmed that they have suspended the license of Reggie’s bar following the ‘seriousness of the allegations and potential threat to public safety’.

An attorney for the bar, Kris Perrett, confirmed in a statement that they are ‘fully cooperating with authorities’.

Pointer added: ‘The bar in my opinion has culpability or responsibility for the role they played in making all of this possible.

Her sorority wrote on Monday: 'Madi was a bubbly, loving, and selfless friend. She left an indelible mark on our chapter, we cherish our memories together and we will never forget her. Our forever friend was also a hero, Madi donated her heart and kidneys to save others'

Her sorority wrote on Monday: ‘Madi was a bubbly, loving, and selfless friend. She left an indelible mark on our chapter, we cherish our memories together and we will never forget her. Our forever friend was also a hero, Madi donated her heart and kidneys to save others’

Reggie's, in Baton Rouge, has now had its liquor license suspended by the Louisiana ATC in an 'emergency' move

Reggie’s, in Baton Rouge, has now had its liquor license suspended by the Louisiana ATC in an ’emergency’ move

The bar offers cover for Greek sorority girls like Madi, and the video is packed with female students and staff sharing their antics on Snapchat

The bar offers cover for Greek sorority girls like Madi, and the video is packed with female students and staff sharing their antics on Snapchat

‘They clearly served this young lady too much alcohol then abandoned her. It has a long history of not playing by the rules and allowing underage drinking.

Darin Adams, the owner of Reggie's bar, has long been in the spotlight thanks to the notorious venue

Darin Adams, the owner of Reggie’s bar, has long been in the spotlight thanks to the notorious venue

‘You would hope that this would be the nail in the coffin for that business. This is a nightmare for this young lady’s parents.

‘You trust your child to go to college, she has a job and she is working only to find out that her employer is allowing her to drink on the job and drink to the point that she can’t take care of herself.’

Later that night, Madi was hit by a ride-share car at around 3am, close to where the men had left her, but the driver of the vehicle has not been arrested in connection with her death

Legal documents seen by DailyMail.com reveal that Madi had 0.319g per cent of alcohol in her system – so high that toxicologists said she could have suffered from alcohol poisoning or loss of consciousness.

The question over the judge’s commens comes after DailyMail.com revealed that Madi appeared to work at the bar where she met the group – and a TikTok video showed the wild underage antics inside.

Madison Brooks (right) appears with two friends in a photo with the caption: '3 little Reggie's workers'

Madison Brooks (right) appears with two friends in a photo with the caption: ‘3 little Reggie’s workers’ 

Madison (right) and a friend posing for a photo at Reggie's bar in East Baton Rouge

Madison Brooks (left) posing for a photo with friends while at a bar

 Madison Brooks posing for photos with her friends at the Reggie’s college bar in East Baton Rouge

Authorities also seized surveillance footage from the bar and nearby businesses which show Madi arriving at the bar at 10.06pm, with Carver, Lee, Washington and the teenage boy arriving at 10.18pm.

Officers say in their affidavit that at 1am Madi was seen sitting on a stool by the counter at the bar before stumbling, and got back to her feet with the help of the men.

At 1.34am she was seen sitting on a bench by the entrance door before falling again,. The teenager approached her, removed her cap and helped her get to her feet.

The group was seen leaving the bar at 1.49am, with the vehicle last seen at 1.59am. Carver told police that the 17-year-old and Washington both had sex with the victim in the back seat of the car.

Madi was dumped less than a ten-minute car journey from the bar before being hit by the ride-share car at 2:50am.

Carver said he felt 'uncomfortable' during the sex acts and he 'hated it', adding that he thought she was too drunk to consent

Carver said he felt ‘uncomfortable’ during the sex acts and he ‘hated it’, adding that he thought she was too drunk to consent

Another girl tumbles over the bar in a drunken state

One worker can be seen wielding a baseball bat to batter a pinata

One worker can be seen wielding a baseball bat to batter a pinata (right) while another girl tumbles over the bar in a drunken state (left) 

Carver, who was driving the vehicle, told cops that he asked Madi where her friends were, but she said she did not know and appeared ‘drunk’.

He added that Madi gave ‘verbal consent five times’ to the 17-year-old before having sex with her in the rear of the car, with Washington exiting the vehicle before swapping with the teenager to also have sex with the victim.

During his police interview, Carver denied having ever seen Madi before or knowing her but agreed to give her a ride.

Both Carver and Lee remained in the front of the car while the sex acts were being performed, with Carver telling them to ‘stop’ before dropping Madi off.

A post-mortem revealed that Madi had ‘injuries consistent with previous sexual assault anally’ as well as her injuries from the crash.

The fatal accident came was the second collision on Burbank Drive, raising questions about the safety of the area.

Ethel Wesly, 71, was killed in the same week, with locals arguing that there needs to be more lighting, sidewalks and a lower speed limit.

More lighting is also planned for the entrance to the Pelican Lakes subdivision on Burbank where Madi was killed.

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