Former Louisiana prison warden Nate Cain abruptly entered a guilty plea Wednesday on the third day of his federal trial on corruption charges, cutting the proceedings short as his ex-wife prepared take the stand to testify against him, The Advocate reports. Cain pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud related to gun purchases he made on the state’s dime while serving as warden of Avoyelles Correctional Center. U.S. Attorney David Joseph said he expects Cain, 51, to serve time in federal prison and pay restitution for the crimes.
The deal marked a sudden end to a trial in which Cain had faced 17 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The former warden, who resigned in 2016, took the plea before the jury heard from his ex-wife, Tonia Bandy, and corrections secretary Jimmy LeBlanc. Bandy had already pleaded guilty in the case. Cain and Bandy were accused of spending thousands of dollars meant for the prison’s operations on a slew of personal purchases — from flat screen TVs and Yeti coolers to toilet paper and coffee, as well as construction supplies to build a new home on prison property — while shielding the fraudulent transactions from any state oversight. The counts to which Cain pleaded guilty Wednesday pertained only to certain purchases of gun and gun accessories, which amounted to less than $1,000. Cain admitted to those purchases, and apologized to taxpayers.