Sheriff Prator calls for changes in Louisiana criminal justice system


Dewayne Willie Watkins is at the center of criticism from Sheriff Steve Prator.

The Sheriff says this case is the number one reason the state needs to be tougher on some criminals.

Sheriff Steve Prator says,”our problem here is that we don’t feel safe and there is a reason we don’t feel safe.”

Sheriff Steve Prator says the criminal justice system in Louisiana is need major changes.

And not the reform put into place by Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration. .

“We want people to have second chances. We want them to get out and not offend again, but there are some people that refuse to be rehabilitated.”

The sheriff says Dewayne Willie Watkins is one of those individuals.

Watkins is accused of murdering Kelly and Heather Jose last month. 

 Authorities say he murdered them and then burned their bodies. 

“You think this couple knew when they went to mall St. Vincent and this guy walks up and wants to borrow the phone, and they say here we’ll make a call for you and needs a ride, oh we’ll give you ride. Just being good people.” 

Prator says Watkins should have still been in jail for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

“Five years into a mandated minimum 10 year sentence he is released.”

This chart shows Watkin’s arrest history, it dates back to 2004.

While Sheriff Prator says he agrees in-part with Governor Edwards plan on prison reform, he feels policies on release need stronger, he uses Watkins’ case as an example.

“There’s about 7,8,9 domestic abuse batteries up there. Everyone of these, whether it’s a burglary or whatever it is, there is a victim to this.”

Watkins still doesn’t have an attorney.

He’ll be back in court for his arraignment in February.

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