Orleans Parish prosecutors are seeking to have a prominent defense attorney testify that he sent text messages back and forth with his client while the man was behind bars.
Keith Kisack, 38, who was in jail on charges including second-degree murder, possessing contraband and resisting an officer with force, was booked on another contraband charge on Jan. 1 after deputies found a cellphone hidden in a sock in a common area of Orleans Parish Prison, according to court documents the District Attorney’s office filed Thursday.
The phone contained numerous”photos of Kisack inside of the jail, according to court documents. It also contained several text messages exchanged with a cellphone number that belongs to Kisack’s former attorney, Jason Williams.
Williams is not accused of committing any crimes.
Williams withdrew as Kisack’s attorney after the DA’s office found the texts. Ike Spears now represents Kisack.
Neither man responded Friday to requests for comment.
Spears has objected to prosecutors calling Williams as a witness, claiming attorney-client privilege, according to the filing.
The DA’s office, however, cited 19 text messages in its filing, arguing that they are not professional in nature
“Happy Thanksgiving KK... We gonna try to make this your last one in that place,” reads one message sent Nov. 24, 2011, from the number the prosecutors say belongs to Williams.
“Merry X-mas 2 u and ur. Hope u enjoy. Man i am bout to lose it. KK,” reads another message sent Dec. 25, 2011, to Williams’ apparent number from the number Kisack reportedly had.
Prosecutors wrote in their filing that Kisack goes by KK and that Williams called him that.
“The text messages were clearly not sent in a professional capacity or for the purpose of ‘giving or obtaining an opinion on the law or legal services,’” Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly wrote. “The vast majority of the messages are of a social nature.”
Prosecutors also argue that “by using a cell phone that the defendant knew to be contraband and subject to seizure, he arguably waived the attorney-client privilege.”
Slidell police search for suspect in chase
Slidell police arrested one man Thursday and are seeking another after a narcotics investigation resulted in a chase across the Interstate 10 twin spans into New Orleans East.
The chase began at about 7 p.m. when police tried to stop a blue Nissan Xterra near Old Spanish Trail and I-10, according to a police department news release. The driver, Leo Charles, had an active warrant for a probation violation, and the passenger, Prentiss Wallace, was wanted for fleeing an officer the previous Saturday, police said.
The chase ended on Michoud Boulevard when both men jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the nearby marsh. Slidell police Officer Joe McMahan, with the aid of a police dog, was able to apprehend Charles, but Wallace escaped.
Charles was booked into the Slidell City Jail where he is awaiting transfer to the St. Tammany Parish Jail. He faces charges of aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer by flight, possession of a schedule II narcotic (crack cocaine) and a probation violation.
Slidell police are seeking the public’s help in locating Wallace, who is wanted for resisting an officer by flight and could face additional charges for the aggravated flight in Thursday’s pursuit.
Information on his whereabouts can be reported to the Slidell Police at (985) 643-3131 or Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Compiled by the New Orleans bureau