PD leader jailed

One of the leaders of the New Orleans public defender office spent three hours in jail Tuesday after Chief Juvenile Court Judge David Bell found him in contempt because his attorneys were not ready to go forward in Bell's courtroom.

The judge, David Bell, was upset that no public defender was in his courtroom when he was ready to start this morning, and he drove to the defender’s office and waited outside for Stephen Singer, the chief of trials, to arrive.

The judge took Mr. Singer to his courtroom, where he found him in contempt for not being prepared to provide representation and ordered him jailed for 36 days, three days for each of the 12 items on Tuesday’s docket. Mr. Singer then spent about five hours in jail before a state appeals court stayed the order.

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