- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A former clerk of court employee on Tuesday admitted transporting cocaine from the Baton Rouge state courthouse that the son of a former state judge allegedly stole from the evidence vault at the downtown court building in 2012.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1cvSbMz ) that Debra Vicknair Bell, 57, of Maurepas, pleaded guilty to charges of principal to malfeasance in office and possession of cocaine.

She worked for the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. She was scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10 to seven years of active supervised probation and receive a suspended five-year prison term.

Bell’s attorney, Randy Trelles, said she did not learn until sometime later that what she had transported from the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in her car was actually cocaine.

Bell was once romantically involved with William “Billy” Bates Colvin, the son of former state District Judge Kay Bates. Colvin, 32, of Baton Rouge, also worked in the Clerk of Court’s Office at the time of his arrest in December 2012. He is scheduled to stand trial Nov. 2.

Colvin faces a minimum of 15 years in prison due to the amount of cocaine - more than 48 pounds - stolen from the evidence vault. He also is accused of taking five guns from the vault.

Bell’s son, Colt Weston Bell, and another man, Terrance Sloan Ramirez, pleaded guilty in February to extortion-conspiracy and drug charges in the case and were sentenced to 12 years and nine years in prison, respectively.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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