On March 10, 2014, our client, Michael Augustine, shot and killed Uriah Joseph in New Iberia. However, he did not commit a crime. It was a justifiable homicide and committed in self-defense. Michael was near his home, at a place he had a legal right to be, when he was approached and threatened. He did not have a duty to retreat. As permitted by Louisiana law, he “stood his ground” and met force with force.

However, Michael was arrested for Second-Degree Murder with a bond set at one million dollars. Our client fully cooperated with the investigation. He even testified before the grand jury. In April of 2015, the grand jury indicted him on the lesser charge of Manslaughter. A few months later, at the conclusion of a bond reduction hearing Michael’s bond was reduced to $200,000.00. However, he still could not afford to post bond.

Since our client could not post bond, we filed a Motion for Speedy Trial in March of 2016. The District Attorney’s Office did not bring the case to trial within the time limitations set by law. Therefore, we filed a motion seeking our client’s release. At the conclusion of a hearing, our client was released from jail without having to post any bond. Unfortunately, our client had already spent two years in jail prior to his release.

Over the years, Michael has repeatedly gone to court as his trial was repeatedly postponed. This past Wednesday, the prosecutor notified us that the charge was dismissed that same day. We commend the Iberia Parish District Attorney’s Office for ultimately doing the right thing. We are pleased that the nearly 10-year ordeal that Michael and his family have gone through is finally over.