BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office released a statement on Wednesday stating that they have moved to dismiss the murder charges against Ronnie Kato, who was charged for the murder of BRPD officer Curtis Richardson back in 2020.

The EBR District Attorney’s office released this statement:

Today our office moved to dismiss the first-degree murder charges against this defendant for the murder of Curtis Richardson. This was not a decision that was made lightly. Following the news article reporting our hearing on the motion to sever, our office was contacted by the blood relatives of Curtis Richardson.  They wanted us to know that they are the family members of Curtis Richardson and contrary to the feelings of Donkeisha and Alma, they want justice for their loved one. We met with his family immediately after the severance hearing and then again after the judge denied the motion to sever. We explained that we are unable to prosecute Mr. Richardson’s count at this time because we have no cooperative witnesses. The family understood and appeared in court today to show support for Mr. Richardson and for the prosecution of Ronnie Kato for the first-degree murder of Glenn Dale Hutto. Today my office also filed our notice of intent to seek the death penalty. This notice of intent to seek the death penalty is extremely rare and l have sought to use it sparingly, as I should.  Ronnie Kato, as well as all other pretrial defendants, is presumed innocent but his alleged conduct if proven warrants jury consideration of the most severe punishment established by law. If he is found guilty, a jury of his peers will decide whether the appropriate sentence is death or life in prison.

The DA’s office says they are seeking the death penalty, and if Kato is found guilty, he will be sentenced to death or life in prison.