Witness/victim requests armed robbery case dismissal

Published 12:11 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

EDGARD — Following the request of a local witness to withdraw charges, prosecutors dropped criminal cases against a St. John Parish man arrested earlier this year for armed robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the St. John the Baptist Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, a jailed witness testified in court Aug. 15 that he wished to withdraw charges against Ken Bardell of Garyville.

Bardell was arrested April 2 after he was accused of robbing a motorist at gunpoint in St. John the Baptist Parish.

The victim initially told deputies he exited Moni Carlo Fuel Stop and Casino in Garyville March 29 when a male entered his passenger side, pulled out a handgun and ordered him to drive to a Reserve truck stop.

The gunman then directed the victim to turn onto Rosenwald Street, where he ordered the victim to stop the vehicle and demanded money. The perpetrator then exited and fled on foot towards the railroad tracks.

District Attorney Bridget Dinvaut said the basis of the charges was the statement and evidence collected by the Sheriff’s Office from the victim, Robert Reynolds.

“Mr. Reynolds refused to cooperate and testify against Mr. Bardell and, as a result, we actually had him come to court,” Dinvaut said.

According to Dinvaut, Reynolds was in court Aug. 15 on his own personal charges.

“Mr. Reynolds took the stand under oath and testified before the judge that he did not want to testify; he did not want to pursue the charges,” Dinvaut said. “The evidence went right down the drain, because he refused to cooperate.

“This happens often. We don’t like it.”