Last Modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:09 AM
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A state judge has set a June 24 trial date for two Baton Rouge men accused in the 2007 killing of two LSU graduate students from India after an attorney for one of the defendants requested a speedy trial.
Beau Brock, who represents Casey Jermaine Gathers, told The Advocate he had been prevented from filing such a motion in the more than 5-year-old case until all outstanding motions were resolved.
"Casey and his family have been frustrated by the delays. We were compelled to file a motion for speedy trial so he can have his day in court," Brock said outside state District Judge Chip Moore's courtroom. "We don't intend just to rest on not guilty as our position. We are going to show Casey Gathers is the innocent man that he is."
East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Steve Danielson said during a brief hearing in the case that he intends to try Gathers, 24, and Michael Jermaine Lewis, 23, together in the slaying of Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31.
The two were shot to death at Allam's Edward Gay apartment on the edge of LSU's campus. Their bodies were found Dec. 13, 2007. Both men were shot in the head and one was bound.
Gathers, who is the alleged triggerman, and Lewis each are charged with two counts of second-degree murder. A second-degree murder conviction would carry an automatic sentence of life in prison.
Devin Jamell Parker, 23, also of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in 2011 to armed robbery and accessory charges in the case and agreed to testify in any future legal proceedings. He has not been sentenced.
Moore on Wednesday denied Brock's request that the judge instruct the jury that former LSU graduate student Anatol Litoshka could have had a motive to kill. Brock contends Litoshka threatened Allam before Litoshka was booted from graduate school at LSU in mid-2006.