FBI Arrests Louisiana Fire Chief On Obstruction Charges Involving Hit Attempt On Witness

Friday, March 23rd 2007, 9:00 am
By: News On 6

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ FBI agents arrested a parish fire chief accused of trying to have a witness killed to prevent testimony in a federal grand jury investigation.

Donovon R. McMullen Jr., 42, was arrested Thursday, a day after he was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice by attempting to kill a witness, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baton Rouge.

The details on the case involving the witness's testimony are sealed, but according to McMullen's indictment, it involved interstate transportation of stolen government-owned medical equipment from Baton Rouge to McAllen, Texas.

McMullen, chief of Caddo Parish Fire Protection District 3 in Greenwood, agreed to pay someone to kill the witness and provided a semiautomatic handgun and ammunition, the indictment alleges.

``Obviously, I can't comment on the details, but we did discover the plot before anything happened,'' U.S. Attorney David Dugas said.

The first obstruction count charges that McMullen attempted to kill a witness with the intent to prevent testimony to the grand jury and during a criminal trial. The second count alleges he attempted to kill the witness to prevent information from reaching law enforcement.

If convicted, McMullen could face up to 40 years in prison.

A judge on Thursday ordered McMullen held without bond until a detention hearing next week. Defense attorney Bobby Sutton Sr. declined comment after the hearing.