Gen. Patton struck two soldiers in August 1943

Published 10:30 pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

      0988c46e-4af2-5587-90ca-d8d0d02277c62016-11-10T08:13:31Znews/crimeNot guilty pleas in death of MSU player

<p class="p1">Two of three defendants charged in connection with the August shooting death of former McNeese State University defensive back Aaron Sam, 23, were arraigned Wednesday in state district court.</p><p class="p1">Jacolby Cunigan, 23, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery, and former McNeese quarterback Daniel Sams, 24, pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.  </p><p class="p1">Lake Charles police said they found Aaron Sam dead inside a Lewis Street home from a gunshot wound Aug. 12. Deputy Chief Mark Kraus said Sam had been part of an armed group that had committed a home invasion and that the homeowners weren’t involved in the shooting.</p><p class="p1">Cunigan was arrested Aug. 20 and charged with second-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and home invasion. A grand jury indicted him Nov. 3 on one count of second-degree murder. </p><p class="p1">Cunigan was arraigned on charges of armed robbery and second-degree murder after prosecutor Jacob Johnson dismissed the other charges Wednesday. Johnson said he wanted to maintain the armed robbery charge because it was the underlying reason for second-degree murder.</p><p class="p1">Defense attorney Todd S. Clemons asked that Cunigan’s bond be reduced from the two charges’ total of $700,000. Judge Guy Bradberry agreed to a new total of $550,000 — $500,000 for the second-degree murder charge and $50,000 for armed robbery, as requested by Johnson. </p><p class="p1">Sams was charged Aug. 27 with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder, accessory after the fact to home invasion, and accessory after the fact to armed robbery. He was indicted Nov. 3 on one count of accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, and that charge is the only one Sams is now facing.</p><p class="p1">Bradberry agreed to defense attorney Adam Johnson’s request that Sams’ bond be reduced from $50,000 to $20,000.</p><p class="p1">A third defendant, Jeremy LeBlanc, 26, was also indicted Nov. 3 on one count of second-degree murder. But he has yet to be arraigned on the charge and remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on a $1.4 million bond. LeBlanc was arrested Aug. 21 on charges of second-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery and attempted robbery.  </p><p class="p1">Case management conferences for Cunigan and Sams will be May 18.</p>