Daigle trial on hold, for now
Monday’s jury selection in Bossier Parish canceled
<p class="p1">The state Supreme Court has again issued a stay in the Kevin Daigle trial, putting everything on hold until further notice just as jury selection was set to begin Monday in Bossier Parish.
<p class="p1">Earlier this week, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that Judge Guy Bradberry will not be recused and will continue to oversee the trial when it does get underway.
<p class="p1">Although the 3rd Circuit ruled against a recusal motion from the defense, Daigle’s defense team has several other motions pending which were scheduled to be heard just before jury selection on Monday but are now also on hold.
<p class="p1">Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Steven Vincent, a Louisiana state trooper, in 2015.
<p class="p1">The defense wanted Bradberry removed from overseeing the trial because Bradberry and Vincent’s wife, Katherine, were friends on Facebook; the prosecution said that they were and that they were also acquainted through Vincent’s former employment as a supervisor with the juvenile probation system but that they were not close friends.
<p class="p1">On Thursday, the defense filed a motion asking for a second change of venue because of “Operation D-57,” a drug roundup of 180 people by law enforcement earlier this month in the areas of Central and Northwest Louisiana. The name of the roundup was in honor of Vincent, with “Operation D-57” referencing his unit number with Louisiana State Police.
<p class="p1">A news release sent out last week by Louisiana State Police said, in part, “Trooper Vincent’s son requested we ‘find a lot of drugs’ if we used his father’s LSP unit number as the operation title, and that’s exactly what resulted.”
<p class="p1">The defense, in asking for a change of venue, called the operation just ahead of the trial an “epic publicity stunt.”
<p class="p1">The prosecution, in its answer to the motion, said, in part, “This is at least the defendant’s second attempt to have a parish other than Bossier Parish selected, and it is last-minute legal shenanigans at their worst. The defendant is filing a change of venue motion simply to delay his trial. This he cannot do.”
<p class="p1">Continuing, it said, “The law regarding venue changes is well established. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial and an impartial jury. A defendant who seeks a change of venue must demonstrate more than mere public knowledge of the facts of the offense.”
<p class="p1">As of press time, jury selection was still scheduled to be held at a future date in Benton in Bossier Parish. Once a jury is selected, jurors will be brought here for the trial.
<p class="p1">The trial is expected to be held in Courtroom A in the old Calcasieu Courthouse to provide more seating.
<p class="p1">If found guilty, Daigle would face the death penalty.