District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced today that Natchitoches City Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow was convicted by entering a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) relating to a December 18, 2017 attempted theft case from Walmart in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Morrow was scheduled for trial today in Natchitoches City Court but instead changed her plea from not guilty to nolo contendere.
A nolo contendere plea is considered a conviction in Louisiana law. In such cases, the court imposes sentencing in accordance with the laws applicable to the charge.
Natchitoches City Court Judge Fred S. Gahagan sentenced Morrow under the guidelines of Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894 to 60 days in jail, but suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for 6 months. Gahagan also fined Morrow $481 or 30 days in jail if not paid by June 26, and ordered her to pay restitution of $78.13 to the City Marshal’s office which will be returned to the victim.
First Assistant District Attorney Cloyd Benjamin Jr. prosecuted the case for the City. “Our community expects our elected leaders to maintain a public trust. It is quite disappointing when one of our leaders fail in that regard by being convicted of a crime,” said Harrington.