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Prosecutors won't seek death penalty in McMillan Park case

Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:23 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it will not seek the death penalty against Armonta Dquon Hadnot, accused of killing three men at McMillan Park in March.

Hadnot, 18, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a March shooting that left Jeminskian J. Arvie, 20, David Jermaine Galmore, 23, and Fitzgerald Tremayne Guillory, 20, dead.

The killings reportedly happened during a robbery of a dice game at the park.

Hadnot, who has a total of 24 charges listed on the jail roster, is being held without bond at Calcasieu Correctional Center.

Prosecutor Jonathan Blake set a trial date for Nov. 4.

“It is very not likely we would get the death penalty in this case,” John DeRosier said. “Although his actions would certainly warrant being charged with capital murder and would certainly warrant the death penalty... Considering his age and the fact that he has no serious felony convictions on his record, we’re just not going to get a death penalty.”

DeRosier said prosecutors made the decision after consulting with the victims’ families.

Prosecutors will seek three second-degree murder convictions and three life sentences, DeRosier said.

“Juries these days will not put an 18-year-old young person to death even though he killed three people. It’s just not going to happen,” DeRosier said. “Why do we want to expend all the resources that it would take to handle this as a capital case when we know we’re not going a death penalty?”

Hadnot was to appear in front of Judge Clayton Davis Wednesday on a defense motion to quash the indictment, but the motion was not heard because Hadnot will have to switch attorneys since the death penalty is not being sought.

Hadnot was represented by Dwight Doskey and Kimya Holmes of the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana, but Holmes said the organization only represents indigent defenders who are facing the death penalty.

DeRosier said judges automatically appoint capital defense lawyers when a defendant is facing a charge of capital murder.

Jay Dixon, head of the parish Public Defenders Office, said the case would be handled by Michael McHale, but McHale is to leave the office soon.

McHale’s replacement, who Dixon said will be hired within a month, will take over Hadnot’s defense, Dixon said.

The shooting happened on the night of March 20 at McMillan Park, after an incident earlier in the evening in which Hadnot is accused of hanging out the window of a car shooting at another vehicle.

Hadnot was arrested following a manhunt.

Police said at the time of the crime that another shooter may be involved in the shooting at McMillan Park.

Hadnot also has a pending charge of attempted second-degree murder in an unrelated 2012 incident in which authorities said he fired a gun toward a person driving by him.

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