Defense attorney says injustice done to woman indicted twice for - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Defense attorney says injustice done to woman indicted twice for murder

She was indicted twice and spent about a year in jail-- but now diamond Jenkins is out and charges are dismissed. And a local defense attorney says she never should have been charged in the first place.

Defense attorney Todd Clemons says what happened to Diamond Jenkins is a tremendous injustice. And he says those who serve on grand juries need to demand strong, credible evidence.

It was June 14th last year when Brandon Dicks was shot to death about 3:30 in the morning at the trailer park off Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue. His body was found next to a home at 415 Avenue D, Lot sixteen. It seemed to be a tough case from the start, as the sheriff said people were refusing to talk and warned witnesses to come forward.

 A couple of months later Diamond Jenkins and Carlos Manner were arrested and charged with second degree murder. But now , after being indicted twice, charges against Jenkins are dismissed and she has been let out of jail after being there about a year. Her defense attorney Todd Clemons says it's an injustice. "They had no physical evidence to connection Diamond to this crime whatsoever. They relied, I think, on one flimsy person who had questionable credibility."

District Attorney John DeRosier says they cannot go forward now because a witness has changed his statement.  "There was a witness in that case that was critical to the prosecution basically changed his story. At one point he had identified both defendants as being at the crime scene. That testimony changed at the last minute and as a result of that we felt we were not able to go forward with the case, at that point."

DeRosier says charges could eventually be reinstated if more evidence or witnesses come forward. "We may well re file this charge. But at this point we are not suggesting that the defendant is innocent."

But Clemons says grand jurors should demand credible evidence before indicting people for murder. "We can't let the grand jury shirk their responsibility by rubber stamping any case that comes before them. Because otherwise there is no need for the grand jury. So, I would ask the grand jurors to look themselves in the mirror and evaluate what credible evidence was presented to them on two separate occasions because it looks like two different grand juries indicted this young lady."

Carlos Manor is set for trial in the murder of Brandon Dicks. His trial date is January 23rd.

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