Arraignments of Caddo official, his sister again are postponed

Arraignments of Caddo official, his sister again are postponed

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The arraignments of a Caddo commissioner and his sister again have been delayed, this time for a day.

Lynn Cawthorne, 51, and Belena C. Turner, 46, both of Shreveport, were to have entered pleas Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Shreveport.

That hearing, however, has been postponed until 3 p.m. Thursday due to the death of a family member of one of the defense attorneys.

Last week, attorney Marty Stroud said Cawthorne intends to plead not guilty.

Stroud now represents Turner.

And Cawthorne has retained former U.S. attorney J. Ransdell Keene as his legal counsel.

A federal grand jury recently indicted Cawthorne and Turner on charges that they stole more than $500,000 from a program meant to supply meals to children during the summer.

The charges include seven counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Cawthorne was indicted April 26 and was absent from the Caddo Commission meeting four days later.

On May 2, he had to surrender his passport. Turner did not have one.

The two also had to sign bond paperwork in which they promise to come back for each court appearance.

Below is the federal indictment:

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