Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:12 AM
DERIDDER — Billie Joe Weldon’s second-degree murder trial will enter a third week when it begins this morning.
Weldon is on trial in 36th Judicial District Court for the alleged murder of 27-year-old Kimberly Ann Stephens.
Stephens’ bruised body was found lying in a vacant lot on Granberry Road, which is just south of DeRidder.
Judge C. Kerry Anderson said he expects the trial to wrap up this week.
He said he expects the evidence portion of the trial to end Wednesday and closing statements to be given Thursday.
Prosecutor Richard Blankenship would not say how many witnesses he has left to call and defense attorney David Wallace likewise would not say how many witnesses he plans to call, or if he Weldon will be one of them.
The case was has been stretched out, in part, by a planned one-day Labor Day break and a one-day halt when Anderson ordered prosecutors and the defense to meet to ensure all evidence had been shared.
Weldon went to trial in February, but a mistrial was declared because of several issues, including that a videotaped interview of Weldon by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office surfaced. Jurors have thus far heard from Stephens’ roommate, Michelle Tharp, Weldon’s ex-wife, Laci Weldon, lead detective Mark Herford and coroner Dr. Terry Welke, among others.
Weldon has been jailed on a $10 million bond since 2009.