“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are,” – Benjamin Franklin

Bold words from centuries ago that in today’s times hold even more meaning. Remember when in 2008, we had our own horrific hate crime?

When Jared Horne and Anthony Cascio in the early morning hours committed a senseless and unprovoked act of violence. They beat and stabbed a homeless black man in Monroe and admitted they had done so in part because he was black.

In the days following this horrific crime, the public was outraged at both Horne and Cascio because, even before Black Lives Matter, everyone agreed a defenseless homeless man being beat, stabbed, and left for dead because of race — and done so by two young men from prominent white wealthy families — was just wrong. Then-District Attorney Jerry Jones, who was the architect of Louisiana’s Hate Crime statute, prosecuted these individuals for this heinous hate crime.

In 2008, Jared Horne, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder and the commission of a hate crime for beating and stabbing the homeless man and rightfully so considering Mr. Horne had previously been convicted of felony charges including kidnapping.

Most in the parish believe that is where the story ended.

But in late 2016, Jerry Jones resigned, and Robert Steve Tew, a divorce attorney and part-time assistant district attorney, was elevated to the title of acting District Attorney by Jones, the retiring district attorney.

In December 2016, Charles Horne, a close family member of Jared Horne, made a $250 contribution to acting District Attorney Steve Tew for his campaign for district attorney. Tew was elected in January 2017 without opposition.

Four months after receiving the $250 contribution, the new District Attorney Steve Tew’s office allowed a new motion to reconsider sentence in Jared Horne’s case.

Even though the law only permits such motion to be filed 30 days after sentencing, it was filed almost nine years later without objection from the District Attorney.

At that hearing in April 2017, the District Attorney never objected and never appealed the out of time motion but rather consented to the resentencing of Jared Horne from 20 years to 10 years for attempted second degree murder and commission of a hate crime. The end result is Jared Horne — the three-time convicted felon, and a defendant in one of the first ever hate crime prosecutions in Ouachita Parish — is essentially freed the moment he left court that day with having served only half of his original sentence and freed in a manner so fast the news media didn’t have a chance to cover it.

As Paul Harvey said, “And now you know . . . the rest of the story.

Devin T. Jones

West Monroe

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