Witness to Mayeux murder spends day on stand

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - The shocking details of how two men allegedly plotted and carried out the murder of Jac Mayeux are unfolding as the trial of Terry Clarkson continues in DeRidder.

The State's key witness is a man who was fifteen and was watching as Mayeux was shot to death.

Darrell Bruce is nineteen now but he was only fifteen when he stood there and watched as Jac Mayeux was gunned down right before his eyes. James Ramsdell was the trigger man, but prosecutors say Clarkson, now on trial for first degree murder, was there helping every step of the way.

Bruce was on the witness stand all morning and again after lunch-- as Assistant D.A. Richard Morton questioned him about his actions and those of the two adults-- from planning and carrying out the murder to stealing Mayeux's money, guns, tools and other belongings and discussing lies they would tell to cover it up.

According to Bruce, the day before the murder, Clarkson was supposed to kill Mayeux with a hammer but didn't because he says Clarkson complained Mayeux wouldn't turn away from him.

While on the witness stand, Bruce testified how Ramsdell and Clarkson were drinking coffee as they talked about murdering Jac Mayeux. Bruce says Ramsdell said he wanted Mayeux's stuff and that Clarkson said he was okay with it.

Bruce also testified how Ramsdell buried the gun in the woods behind where they lived and how all three burned their clothing in a burn pile as instructed by Ramsdell.

The defense will try to attack Bruce's credibility and suggest he was no naive, innocent child-- but a troubled youth who had had problems with the law before.

Just as cross examination by the defense was about to get underway the state made a general objection to any questions about Bruce's criminal history as a juvenile... But the defense attorney David Wallace argues he's entitled to bring up anything that speaks to Bruce's credibility considering that he's the one and only witness who was there when Jac Mayeux was killed. @

The judge is expected to rule tomorrow on the state's objection.

The trial has a late start tomorrow of 1 p.m. so that court personnel can attend the funeral of retired Judge Buddy Stewart.

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