Jindal's butler, also an inmate, wants life sentence cut

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GONZALES, La. (AP) — Bobby Jindal's personal butler is known as the first worker to arrive at the governor's mansion every day and the last to leave. He routinely works with the likely Republican presidential contender and his children. "You can't get any closer to the governor than he is," the mansion's coordinator said.

He's also an inmate serving life for second-degree murder for stabbing his nephew — a sentence he wants a state district judge to reduce.

Harrison Cage is a prison trusty, an inmate who is considered trustworthy by prison authorities and gets privileges such as working outside the penitentiary. Nationwide, governors often employ trusties to work in mansions. Cage 52, lives at the State Police Barracks and has worked at the mansion for eight years.

In 1992, a mistrial was declared in Cage's case. But a year later, a second Ascension Parish jury unanimously convicted Cage in the stabbing of Tyrone Clark.

On Monday, Cage asked Judge Jessie LeBlanc to give his life sentence some kind of term, possibly 45 to 50 years, so he can seek parole under Louisiana law, The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1Acu9l4).

LeBlanc took the case under advisement. It was unclear when LeBlanc would rule.

When asked whether Jindal thinks his butler should receive a reduced sentence, spokeswoman Alexis Nicaud told the newspaper that his office cannot comment on court proceedings.

Nicaud said Jindal's office doesn't "make decisions on pardons until after the pardon board makes recommendations to our office." Cage's hearing Monday was not before the state Board of Pardons and Parole.

Jindal, who was not made available for comment, has granted clemency to 62 people since 2008, Nicaud said.

At the hearing, mansion coordinator Irene Shepherd testified that Cage, 52, handles any duties she asks of him for the Jindal household. Shepherd said she has no concerns about Cage and that she'd be comfortable having him as her next-door neighbor.

Cage, formerly of Baton Rouge, told the judge that he has taken advantage of every prison program available to him, has earned his GED and is a tutor to other prisoners.


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

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