Friday, May 17 2013 9:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:05:04 GMT
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local governmentMore >>
The Southwest Louisiana Tea Party movement began picking up steam in 2009 as members from throughout the five-parish area began gathering for rallies and becoming more visible and involved in local government and the political scene.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:55:58 GMT
An arrest has been made in the 1962 death of Mary Horton Vail. Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962, her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident. TheMore >>
Mary Horton Vail was found dead in the Calcasieu River in October 1962. Her husband, Felix Vail, claimed she was the victim of a boating accident.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:17 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:17:04 GMT
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case. On May 17, 2005, 28-year-old Loretta Chaisson Lewis went missing. Three days later, her body was found floatingMore >>
Friday marks the anniversary of the first woman reported missing in the Jeff Davis Eight case.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:47:38 GMT
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18,More >>
More than 825 students - the largest graduating class in McNeese State University history - are expected to receive degrees at the university's spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:44 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:44:31 GMT
In an area prone to hurricanes, flood insurance is important for Louisiana residents. Calcasieu Parish became a part of the National Flood Insurance program in 1978. By participating in the program,More >>
As a way to continue offering flood insurance, Congress passed the Biggert Waters Act in 2012. More >>
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It was just as the prosecution predicted. Accused serial killer Derrick Todd Lee entered a plea of not guilty in court Wednesday. But there was something that came as a surprise to many in the court room, the judge set a date for Lee's trial to start. March first of next year is when Derrick Todd Lee is expected to go to trial for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace, the second confirmed victim of the suspected serial killer. And despite the dna evidence law enforcement says links Lee to her murder and others, Wednesday morning Derrick Todd Lee declared he is not guilty.
Since his arrest in Atlanta, Georgia, this was Derrick Todd Lee's first appearance in Baton Rouge court. And the "first" time family members of the victims were able to see the suspected serial killer, face to face. Inside judge Richard Anderson's courtroom, Lee stood the entire time with his attorneys by his side. Charged with the first degree murder of LSU graduate student Murray Pace, Lee entered a plea of not guilty.
The victims' family members, wept and held each other for support. Outside the court, prosecutors said they were not surprised by Lee's plea. But felt encouraged that the judge sided with them and set a date for the trial to start. First assistant district attorney John Sinquefield said, "victims have rights in Louisiana now and victims have a right to a reasonably speedy progress of these proceedings. The only way we can get justice for the victims in this case is to have a trial."
On the other hand Lee's attorney, Mike Mitchell, objected to the trial date. His argument in court was that March first, of next year, nine months from now, is not enough time to adequately prepare a defense. Especially considering the fact that prosecutors also plan to introduce evidence from the murders of three other alleged victims as well. But outside court, this is all Mitchell would say. "I made some comments on the record in court concerning the trial date and all that and I'm gonna let my comments in court stand. I'm not gonna comment further." Sinquefield added, "if they are not ready to go to trial in nine months then they should be there with hard evidence to prove why they can't, not just saying it on the record. There's a difference."
Here is a list of the important dates in this trial that were also set Wednesday morning: July 24th, the judge will hear motions already filed in the case by Lee's attorney Mike Mitchell concerning funding for the defense and the preservation of evidence. October eighth and ninth have been set aside as motion dates as well as December 10th and February 12th.
At this time no motions have been filed for those dates. But of course this date is one the family of the victims will never forget. Their first time seeing Derrick Todd Lee in person.