Trial date set in prison slaying
The new judge appointed to hear the cases of five Louisiana State Penitentiary inmates accused of killing a security officer in 1999 set a March 21 trial date Tuesday for defendant Robert G. Carley.
Jurors will be selected in St. Tammany Parish for first-degree murder trials in St. Francisville.
The state Supreme Court appointed retired Orleans Parish Judge Jerome M. Winsberg to preside over the trials after another retired New Orleans judge, Dennis J. Waldron, announced in August he was withdrawing from the cases.
The first attempt to try one of the defendants, Jeffrey Cameron Clark, 50, ended in a mistrial in July.
Clark and Carley, both 42; Barry S. Edge, 50; David Mathis, 34; and David Brown, 37, are accused of first-degree murder in the Dec. 28, 1999, stabbing and beating death of Capt. David Knapps, 49, during an escape attempt from the Angola prison’s Camp D.
The trials have been delayed by a number of problems, including the deaths of three defense attorneys.
“I’m here to move these cases. I’m serious about these dates. It’s time to have these cases tried. I consider that my charge from the Supreme Court,” Winsberg said after setting several more pre-trial hearings in Tuesday’s sessions.
He suggested the attorneys “get in a trial mode.”
Earlier, Carley’s attorneys, Clayton M. Perkins and Tommy Thompson, asked Winsberg to delay the trial, with Perkins citing problems with an expert who assists in finding information that would be favorable to the defendant in the penalty phase of a first-degree murder trial.
The state, represented by prosecutors from Caddo and Jefferson parishes, is seeking the death penalty against all five defendants.
Prosecutor Tommy Block, who had moved for a Nov. 1 trial before Waldron withdrew, suggested March 21 for the start of Carley’s trial, saying he saw no reason why new “mitigation experts” could not investigate his background by then.
Carley has been incarcerated since 1987 for a murder in St. Bernard Parish, Block said.
“Every aspect of his life has been documented,” he added.
Why did Waldron withdraw?
“Time flies like an arrow...”
Since: Mar 07
"fruit flies like a banana"
Because of "a family medical matter."
Can't believe that they are waiting until March!
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