A Texas attorney under separate protective orders in Baton Rouge and New Orleans threatened his client’s home for days before setting it on fire Saturday. arrested the data alleges – an accident triggered at every step by a GPS monitor strapped to his ankle.
Since December, a judge’s order has prohibited Christian L. King, 31, from approaching his ex-partner’s home. on Southmoor Drive. He violated the order several times, culminating at 8:26 a.m. Saturday when he went to the property, doused the front door with oil and set it on fire, a report by Police.
Police arrested King minutes later using GPS data and a tip from the first partner, who was hiding elsewhere and watched the house on a video feed from a security camera. No one was injured in the fire, authorities said.
The issue caused the former partner to suffer and is facing thousands of dollars in home improvement costs. And it expressed dismay at the often inconsistent relationship between surveillance companies and law enforcement amid domestic violence, which has been on the rise in Louisiana.
“I’ve been begging for help from law enforcement since the beginning of December,” the former partner, Breanna Jones, said in a Facebook post she allowed to be quoted for this story. “Now my house is destroyed, my cars are damaged, and the emotional damage is irreparable.”
Jones said in a request for a protective order last year that King threatened her life while they were in a relationship. A family judge in East Baton Rouge approved the order on Dec. 16, according to court records.
On January 10, a judge issued a warrant for King’s arrest, saying he visited Jones’ home three days after the protective order took effect and cut it. eat the skin of the caves. Between the time the warrant was issued and the time the fire broke out, King allegedly entered the “stay away zone” twice, according to GPS records. . The company targeting his ankle, New Orleans-based ASAP Release, said in a report to law enforcement that the authorities were informed of both violations.
The company notified BRPD when King crossed into the zone around 12:45 a.m. on January 11, he said. An employee alerted the police after King went in and out of the restricted area shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday – just hours before the fire.
Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department, said that the police are actively looking for the King in the days when the warrant and fire were issued.
A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department said firefighters arrived at the home around 8:30 a.m. Saturday and found the door of the home on fire.
ASAP Release employees spoke with Jones, King’s ex-partner, on the phone and combined their call with 911 because King had set off the fire, the company said.
“The Christian just burned down my house,” Jones said, according to the company’s report. Photos he later shared on social media showed extensive damage to the door and the front door of the house.
King also faces charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and aggravated domestic assault in New Orleans in an unrelated case, court records show. Jeffrey Smith, an attorney representing King in that case but not in Baton Rouge, said Tuesday that he is urging King to get a mental health evaluation.
King is a licensed attorney in Texas, according to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office and Matt Dennis, one of the owners of ASAP Release. Of the Texas State Bar website Christian L. King is a practicing attorney in that state and said he received his law degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge in 2020.
Discipline by the bar usually remains private unless it results in a public punishment. King currently has no public disciplinary action, said Claire Reynolds, public affairs attorney for the Texas bar’s Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
The arson came on the heels of a deadly wave of domestic violence in Louisiana. It also shows a debate on electronic GPS monitoring – a technology that has grown as a network of companies has made big promises amid the push for financial reform. As the technology gains power, so do complaints about the lack of oversight, the poor performance of the machines, and what some describe as their heavy impact on the accused. in small violations.
And the miscommunications at all levels of the special authorities involved in pre-trial surveillance of accused persons – police, judiciary and administration. reduced control – resulting in sometimes serious visual impairment.
The owners of ASAP Release, Matt and Jill Dennis, have challenged the status quo in the industry and criticized peer companies that they say have more revenue than effort in enforcement. strong. Their company uses parole officers to arrest people who violate their release conditions – a form of enforcement by the common in business.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore praised the company for promptly contacting law enforcement and sharing information about King’s actions. The company monitored King at the behest of an Orleans Parish judge beginning last summer, Dennis said, and began watching King’s activities in Baton Rouge in early January. at the request of a victim advocacy group.
The agency did not have the usual power to arrest King for violations last week because a judge did not order him to be monitored in East Baton Rouge as a condition of his release. back to money, said Matt Dennis.
“With this court order (ASAP Release) law enforcement will have the arresting power necessary to fully protect the Baton Rouge victim,” Dennis said. “Until this happens, the only thing ASAP Release can do is monitor the criminal and report his activities to the police.”
McKneely, the BRPD spokesman, said the system that places GPS monitoring of defendants and enforcement under the umbrella of different organizations can sometimes confuse police officers.
The department is conducting an evaluation on how to better assist the police in the work of the police, he said.
King was still being held in jail Tuesday pending his release date. Moore, the district attorney, said he plans to ask King to sit down before the trial.