1 0 - 1 2 - 2 0 0 4
Oakdale dentist indicted in woman's death
Mandy Goodnight / The Town Talk
OBERLIN - An Allen Parish grand jury indicted an Oakdale dentist in connection with the September death of a woman. He also was indicted on eight drug charges, said Allen Parish District Attorney Doug Hebert.
The grand jury handed down the indictments against Dr. Mike Gordon, 52, of Oakdale on Wednesday following three days of deliberations.
A warrant was issued for Gordon's arrest, but he had not been taken into custody as of Wednesday afternoon, said Allen Parish sheriff's Chief Deputy Grant Willis. The District Attorney's Office said Gordon is expected to turn himself in on Monday.
In September, Oakdale police arrested Gordon, a well-known bodybuilder, following the death of Linda Hoskins. Gordon, who was driving a motor home, ran over Hoskins outside of his Oakdale home, police said. She died at the scene. Oakdale police did not charge Gordon in connection with Hoskins' death but did arrest the dentist on three other charges, including drug possession.
Days after the arrest, Oakdale police announced that evidence in the case was missing.
A former trusty, James Viscardis, 31, of Oakdale, was arrested on an obstruction charge. He is suspected of taking two pill bottles seized as evidence from Gordon's home. They were inside the police department's evidence room. [Meer]
Assistant District Attorney John Demoruelle said there is enough evidence in the case to overcome the missing evidence.
Louisiana State Police was assigned to investigate the missing evidence. It is unknown where the probe stands. The Town Talk was unable to reach State Police officials for comment.
On Wednesday, the grand jury rejected the charges levied against Gordon by Oakdale police, and the warrant was vacated, Hebert said.
Instead, the grand jury indicted Gordon on charges of vehicular homicide, possession of testosterone, possession of marijuana, possession of boldenone, possession of nandrolone, possession with intent to distribute Hydrocodone, possession with intent to distribute alprazolam, possession of diazepam and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gordon will be arraigned within 30 days, and a trial date will be set then, Demoruelle said.
Evidence missing in case against Oakdale dentist
Mandy M. Goodnight / The Town Talk
OAKDALE - Evidence is missing in the drug case against a local dentist, and a former trusty says he was offered money to take it, police Chief Wilburn Perkins said Friday.
Two bottles of pills seized from the home and vehicle of Dr. Mike Gordon, 52, of Oakdale cannot be found. Gordon was arrested recently on a drug and weapon charge after a fatal traffic accident at his house.
Perkins admits that the evidence may be tainted, and this "could change whole aspect of the case."
The trusty also is suspected of taking evidence from another case. The evidence is marijuana from an old case that was waiting to be destroyed.
Perkins said it would be up to a grand jury to decide how the theft will impact the Gordon case. "It appears linked to what happened Sept. 2," the chief said.
That was the day police say Gordon ran over Linda Hoskins of Oakdale with his motor home in front of his Thom Road residence. He has not been charged with Hoskins' death.
Perkins said steps are being taken to secure the evidence building. The Louisiana State Police is investigating what happened to the evidence. An Allen Parish grand jury could hear the Gordon case as soon as two to three weeks, authorities said.
The Gordon case is the talk of Oakdale.
Residents said it is something discussed in living rooms and around dinner tables, but not in public. One woman said she was not surprised to learn that evidence is missing because Gordon is from a prominent Allen Parish family. When asked for her name, she laughed. "I have to live here," she said.
Perkins said the missing evidence is not a cover-up by his department. "We don't shove things under the rug," he said.
It was during the fatal accident investigation that 25 unmarked prescription bottles with pills and a pound of marijuana were seized on Gordon's property, Perkins said. Officers also found a gun and more than $13,000 in cash.
The evidence was placed in the department's evidence building, which is separate from the administrative offices. The evidence was in the front office and not in the back office, which requires going through two metal doors. It was being prepared to go to a crime lab.
On Wednesday, Perkins said officers discovered two of the pill bottles were missing. Drug tests and polygraphs were issued to all the department's officers who work at the building.
On Thursday, police responded to a fight at a local motel, where they found empty evidence bags. James Viscardis, 31, of Oakdale was arrested on a charge of theft and simple burglary but not in connection with the missing Gordon evidence. Viscardis had served as a trusty at the Oakdale Police Department until his release this week, Perkins said.
The chief suspects Viscardis, whose job was to clean the department, put something over the evidence door lock, so he could get in.
Viscardis told investigators that someone offered him money to take evidence from the Gordon case. He has not identified the caller. He also has not told detectives where the pill bottles could be found. He did say the bottles were intact and had not been touched, Perkins said.
The chief said this is the first time in his 21 years at the department that something like this has happened. He plans to change the locks and place a dead bolt on each door. Perkins stressed that his officers and employees did their job and know the importance of protecting evidence.
A Louisiana State Police spokesman in Baton Rouge confirmed Friday that detectives were asked to investigate the situation. The investigation is still in its infancy stage.
On Friday, no one was at the Oakdale dentist's office. There also was no answer at his residence, but Gordon's motor home was parked in the driveway.
The only sign of what happened Sept. 2 is the chalk outline of Hoskins' body on the road.