Davis & Saltzman trial delayed after prosecutor falls ill - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Davis & Saltzman trial delayed after prosecutor falls ill

The trial of Robyn Davis and Carol Sissy Saltzman is over before the jury had a chance to hear any evidence. District Attorney John DeRosier came to court to ask for a continuance because prosecutor Rick Bryant has become ill and has some health issues his doctors say need immediate attention. 

The evidence portion of the second degree murder trial of Robyn Davis and Saltzman was just about to start--when the case came to an abrupt halt. The state asked for the trial to be continued because Bryant is ill and has, what DeRosier says,  are some significant medical issues.

DeRosier says only Bryant is currently prepared to try the complicated case. "I think the interest of justice in this case requires that we do this. We cannot allow ourselves to get caught in a position where the only attorney who has been involved in this case since day one, and knows this case backwards and forwards, is not in sufficient physical condition to go forward with this case. at any point from this day forward in this trial."

It was a frustrating situation for all involved since it had taken four days to seat a jury. But Scott Davis, whose brother Brian was murdered, says the court made the right decision because Bryant knows the case like no one else. "The murder of Brian was completely orchestrated and it was a pre-meditated act by these two individuals, carried out by these two individuals. And the evidence will show how these individuals lied to authorities and to others, family members, and to people, loved ones looking for Brian."

If the jury had been sworn,  the state would have been forced to go forward or dismiss the charges since a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime.

 Defense attorneys think the jury should have been sworn.  Glen Vamvoras represents Robyn Davis.  "Our clients did not commit murder and we were so eager to prove that to the community even though we don't have to prove anything, we wanted these girls to leave the courthouse vindicated."

 Shane Hinch represents Carol Sissy Saltzman.  "We completely believe that they did not commit any homicide and that after all the evidence is heard, that they will be vindicated, that the jury will return a not guilty verdict."

Jurors have been relieved of their duties and sent home. The case won't start again before January. DeRosier says Bryant's health issues are being dealt with by his doctors.

On another case, DeRosier responded to criticism from  local defense attorney Cliff Newman. Newman said it was unfair to present the case of Lan Le to a grand jury when Newman could not be prepared due to a death in his family.

But DeRosier says the case, which involves alleged cruelty to a juvenile, did not even have to be presented to a grand jury. "This is the kind of case that we can go forward with criminal charges without even going to a grand jury. We don't have to have the grand jury in this case to go forward. We often times present these kinds of cases to grand juries, but we're not legally obligated to do so. So, neither Mr. Newman or his client lost anything in these proceedings."

A previous grand jury had heard the case of Lan Le, but took no action.

Copyright 2011 KPLC.All rights reserved

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