Parker Self

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Allen Parker Self, Jr.

Judge for Division F of the
Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court
Incumbent
Assumed office 
2004
Preceded by New judgeship created

Chief Judge of the
Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court
Incumbent
Assumed office 
2015
Preceded by Ford Edwards Stinson, Jr.

Born January 31, 1959
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican
Spouse(s) Paula Hodgkins Self
Children Twin sons:

Lucas Hodgkins Self
William Parker "Will" Self

Parents:
Allen, Sr., and Bonnie Bryan Self

Allen Parker Self, Jr., known as Parker Self (born January 31, 1959),[1] is the Chief Judge of the 26th Judicial District Court for Bossier and Webster parishes in northwestern Louisiana. He holds the Division F position on the court.[2]

Background

Parker was the older of two sons of Allen P. Self, Sr. (1932-2019), and the former Bonnie Bryan. The senior Self graduated from East Texas Baptist University, was an educator for thirty-six years in Bossier Parish, and served in leadership positions in the First United Methodist Church of Bossier City. His brother is Philip Self.[3]

Parker Self, Jr., received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude in 1981 from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. In 1984, he procured his Juris Doctorate from the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge.[4] From 1984 to 2003, Self was engaged in the private practice of law.  His specialty fields are medical malpractice, nursing negligence, personal injury, and probate, successions, and wills.[5] He is a former chair of the Young Lawyer Section of Louisiana Bar Association and currently serves on the Bill of Rights section of that organization. Self is affiliated with the National Association for Court Management and the American Judges Association. He teaches at the North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy in Plain Dealing in Bossier Parish.[4][6]

Self and his wife, the former Paula Hodgkins (born November 1958), have twin sons, Lucas Hodgkins Self and William Parker "Will" Self, who were born in October 1990.[1] The Selfs reside in Bossier City.

Career

Race for Louisiana State Senate

On October 19, 1991, Self ran as a Democrat for the District 37 seat in the Louisiana State Senate, which encompasses Caddo and Bossier parishes. The position opened when Sydney B. Nelson, also a Shreveport attorney, retired after three terms in the office. In the nonpartisan blanket primary, another Democrat, Gregory J. Barro of Shreveport, led the field with 11,224 votes (34 percent). Republican Ronald Bradford "Ron" Fayard (October 1, 1946 – March 7, 2011), a Mississippi native,[7] real estate broker, and civic leader[8] from Bossier City, trailed with 10,228 votes (31 percent). Self finished a strong third with 29 percent of the vote. A second Republican candidate, Shreveport attorney Leroy Havard Scott, Jr. (1922-2003), a former member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, held the remaining 5.5 percent of the ballots cast.[9] Barro subsequently defeated Fayard in the general election.

Judicial record

In a special election for his newly created judgeship held on October 4, 2003, Self, still a Democrat, defeated the Republican candidate, "Ted" Johnson, 18,962 (54.2 percent) to 16,035 (45.8 percent).[10] Self since switched his party registration to Republican.[1]

Early in 2009, Judge Self sentenced three employees of the since disbanded Hope Youth Ranch, a rehabiliiation facility north of Minden in connection with the death of 12-year-old Alexander Michael "Alex" Harris (1992-2005) of Haughton.[11] Anthony Lamar Combs (born June 1967) of Homer, Kelton Kyle Greenard (born June 1979) of Minden, and Arthur Henderson, II, of Cotton Valley received sentences of five years imprisonment at hard labor on two counts of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile. All but three years were suspended, and both counts ran concurrently to avoid the defense's claim of double jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment. Harris died of hyperthermia while on a disciplinary run at the ranch. The three were also was ordered to perform four hundred hours of community service upon release along with two years of probation and the payment of a $1,500 fine plus court costs. “I’ve heard no remorse, and I’m going to make you put someone else above yourself." Self told the defendants in their trial by judge in October 2008. At the sentencing, Judge Self said that his "court takes very seriously its role in this matter. I had to look at the totality of the circumstances. We’re not just looking at acts, but omissions. I can’t change the events of that day, and I can’t bring Alex back," The case was prosecuted by former state Senator Jack Montgomery of Minden, who said he believed that the Harris family was satisfied with the sentence.[12]

In 2011, Judge Self upheld the 90-day suspension of Phillip Vernon, a Bossier City police officer who escorted to jail the Bossier-Webster assistant district attorney, Charles Sherburne "Sherb" Sentell, III (born July 1966) of Minden, a maternal great-nephew of former Governor Robert F. Kennon, after another officer in 2009 arrested Sentell for having manhandled Sentell's wife at a casino. Vernon accused Sentell of hurling profanity at him and threatening the officer's job during the trip to jail. Thereafter, Vernon was dismissed from the force after an internal police investigation concluded that Sentell did not make the threat. The municipal civil service board overturned Vernon's dismissal but upheld the suspension, and Judge Self concurred with that finding.[13]

In 2013, Judge Self handled a case of workplace violence turned deadly when a 54-year-old fired maintenance man, Robert Earl Walter, was tried in the 26th Judicial District Court for the murder in the second degree of April Ann Thomas Fulghum (1979-2012) of Greenwood in south Caddo Parish, a married mother of two children[14] who was shot to death in her office at a Bossier City apartment complex on October 10, 2012. Police said that Walter fled the scene of the crime in a pickup truck but soon surrendered to Shreveport police.[15] He was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict of second degree murder, was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without the possibility of probation, parole, or suspended sentence, and failed in his appeal before the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit. Walter had based his challenge on allegedly insufficient evidence of second-degree murder and proposed that the charge against him should have been manslaughter.[16]

In 2015, Judge Self sentenced Jamaal Lamont Miller (born c. 1982), formerly of Savannah, Georgia, as a three-time convicted felon to ten years imprisonment at hard labor. Miller's appeal, which claimed that the sentence was excessive, was rejected by the appeal court in Shreveport. In November 2014, Miller pleaded guilty to felony theft of more than $60,000 in merchandise taken between 2012 and 2014 from the Fibrebond Corporation in Webster Parish, his former employer. His multiple previous felony convictions include forgery and financial fraud. Self declined to take into consideration Miller's military service and his multiple college degrees in rendering the sentence. Miller was offered one-year off the sentence for each $10,000 paid in restitution before the sentencing. He did not make any payments in that regard.[17]

In 2017,  plaintiffs James Wheat and Danny Brinson after their arrests in Bossier City for violating a state statute forbidding panhandling, filled a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana against Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington and all judges of the 26th Judicial District Court, including Chief Judge Self. The two men allege that Bossier Parish unjustly jails defendants who cannot pay for bail or a required $40 fee to the office of the public defender. Nor does Bossier Parish permit defendants to seek a lowering of the bail amount, which is  automatically set by the court. The suit claims that the parish has for years violated a "bedrock principle of our legal system that a person cannot be detained or imprisoned solely for their inability to pay a fee. Such an incarceration violates the substantive due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.”[18][19]

In 2015, Self became senior judge on the court in 2015. His colleagues include Jeff R. Thompson, Charles Jacobs, Mike Nerren, Michael Craig, and Lane Pittard, who won the special election in October 2017 to succeed Jeffrey Stephen Cox, who was elevated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. Self and fellow Republicans Nerren, Craig, and Cox were all unopposed in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on November 4, 2014. Jacobs ran without opposition to succeed John M. Robinson; Thompson to succeed Ford Edwards Stinson, Jr.[20]

Judge Self's Wikipedia article was deleted on July 9, 2017, on grounds that he "lacks notability."

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Click Allen Self, January 1959. voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on April 25, 2014.
  2. 26th District - Louisiana Judges Association. ldja.org. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  3. Allen Parker Self. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on April 29, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Judge Parker Self. 26jdc.com. Retrieved on April 25, 2014.
  5. Judge Profile: Hon. Allen Parker Self, Jr.: Areas of practice. Martindale.com. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  6. Parker Self: Northwest Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy. Zoominfo.com. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  7. Ronald Bradford Fayard obituary. The Shreveport Times (March 11, 2011). Retrieved on March 11, 2011.
  8. Real Estate Guide Directory in Bossier City. realproguide.com. Retrieved on April 24, 2010.
  9. Louisiana election returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (October 19, 1991). Retrieved on September 28, 2014.
  10. Results for Election Date: 10/4/2003. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 25, 2014.
  11. Alexander Michael Harris. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  12. Michelle Bates (January 29, 2009). Three sentenced in HYR death. The Homer (Louisiana) Guardian-Journal. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  13. Judge Won't Clear Officer's Record. KTBS-TV (January 4, 2011). Retrieved on June 10, 2017.
  14. April Ann Thomas Fulghum. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  15. Carolyn Roy (June 20, 2013). Fired maintenance man found fit to stand trial in deadly apartment shooting. KSLA-TV. Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  16. State of Louisiana v. Robert Earl Walter. Justia.com (June 25, 2014). Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  17. Conviction, 10-year sentence upheld for Bossier man. The Shreveport Times (February 25, 2016). Retrieved on June 19, 2017.
  18. Sarah Crawford (March 21, 2017). Lawsuit: Bossier Parish routinely violates rights of poor. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on June 10, 2017.
  19. James M. Wheat and Danny Brinson v. Judges Mike Craig, Jeff R. Thomposn, Jeff Cox, Charles Jacobs, Mike Nerren, and Parker Self and Sheriff Julian Whittington. KSLA Images (March 20, 2017). Retrieved on June 11, 2017.
  20. Vickie Welborn. Final day of qualifying in DeSoto, Webster. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on August 22, 2014.