Developments In The Cases of Accused Serial Killer Derrick Todd Lee - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Developments In The Cases of Accused Serial Killer Derrick Todd Lee

There was legal fighting on both sides of the Mississippi River Thursday for accused serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. From West Baton Rouge parish, Lee is back in court for a battle over DNA evidence, and on the east side a new trial date has been set for Lee, plus a set back from the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

September 13th is the new start date for the Derrick Todd Lee trial that decision coming this morning but yesterdays victory for the defense in getting the trial delayed was short-lived as they suffer a set back on the funding issue. The First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a district court decision that the defense has enough money to defend Lee.

Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeal had some strong words about the public defender's request for more money to defend Derrick Todd Lee. Judge Brady Fitzsimmons writes, "This defendant is not entitled to the best defense that money can buy based simply on media attention."

"I agree with the First Circuit," says District Attorney Doug Moreau. "Nobody is entitled to that kind of funding level. Nobody in the history of mankind I think would be entitled to what they are requesting."

Adequate funding is one of the reasons that the trial was delayed. Mike Mitchell claims he needs multiple experts to defend Lee, but the court of appeal says he is only entitled to an adequate defense. Judge Fitzsimmons says, "The indigent defendant seems to be receiving a reasonable defense similar to the type of defense available to a middle class working person. Few middle class folks could afford the types of additional experts and fees requested by the indigent in this case."

Moreau says, "I think what the First Circuit is saying is what is reasonable under the circumstances."

But the funding issue may hit a snag when it gets to the Supreme Court. Louisiana's Supreme Court Chife Justice Pascal Calogero is a member of a task force investigating the state's system for representing Louisiana's poor in criminal cases. Earlier this week Chief Justice Calogero is quoted as saying that a lack of funding has made it impossible to litigate capital crimes. He also said he "could not guarantee if any conviction could withstand a constitutional challenge alleging inadequate representation due to under-funding public defenders."

Meanwhile, a West Baton Rouge judge ruled that DNA evidence against Lee can be used in his trial for the murder of LSU grad student Geralyn Desoto. Presiding Judge Robin Free also granted the prosecution access to Geralyn's telephone and medical records, however, a request for Geraylyn's medical records was denied.

Prosecutors say they requested the phone records because they plan to argue Geralyn's husband called on the two-way radio on her Nextel phone during her attack. Prosecutors claim that scared Geralyn's attacker away before he could rape her.

Judge Free says his goal now is to make sure his trial doesn't get delayed at the last minute like the East Baton Rouge trial. Judge Free plans to meet with attorneys every week until the August 6th trial date to try and keep everything on track.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Bulk of the rain has moved out of our area, a few showers possible at times overnight

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Bulk of the rain has moved out of our area, a few showers possible at times overnight

    Monday, May 22 2017 10:52 PM EDT2017-05-23 02:52:44 GMT
    Scattered showers and storms again TuesdayScattered showers and storms again Tuesday

    The heaviest rain has moved out of Southwest Louisiana, except for a line of storms over eastern Cameron Parish.  All of this should be gone before 10 p.m.  A few showers cannot be ruled out for the remainder of the night, but nothing that should cause any issues with flooding or severe weather.  

    More >>

    The heaviest rain has moved out of Southwest Louisiana, except for a line of storms over eastern Cameron Parish.  All of this should be gone before 10 p.m.  A few showers cannot be ruled out for the remainder of the night, but nothing that should cause any issues with flooding or severe weather.  

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Coast Guard: Uninspected vessel takes on water, runs aground in Calcasieu Ship Channel

    Coast Guard: Uninspected vessel takes on water, runs aground in Calcasieu Ship Channel

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:42 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:42:39 GMT
    (Source: Coast Guard)(Source: Coast Guard)
    A towing vessel that was uninspected began taking on water, then ran aground in the Calcasieu Ship Channel early Monday morning, officials with the Coast Guard said. The three-man crew of the 60-foot towing vessel, the Mr. Landon, "purposefully ran their vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern," according to a news release from the Coast Guard 8th District Public Affairs Detachment Texas. Approximate...More >>
    A towing vessel that was uninspected began taking on water, then ran aground in the Calcasieu Ship Channel early Monday morning, officials with the Coast Guard said. The three-man crew of the 60-foot towing vessel, the Mr. Landon, "purposefully ran their vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern," according to a news release from the Coast Guard 8th District Public Affairs Detachment Texas. Approximate...More >>
  • 'Blessings Box' giving back to community anonymously

    'Blessings Box' giving back to community anonymously

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:13 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:13:57 GMT
    (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

    Known for its wide open spaces, LeBleu Settlement in Lake Charles is about 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city.   A tight-knit community according to Pastor Rick Batchelor of Grace Harbor Lighthouse Church who was born and raised in LeBleu Settlement.  "We're here in LeBleu Settlement to we're trying to make sure nobody in LeBleu Settlement goes hungry," he said.  About six weeks ago, he, along with a community member who wishes...

    More >>

    Known for its wide open spaces, LeBleu Settlement in Lake Charles is about 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city.   A tight-knit community according to Pastor Rick Batchelor of Grace Harbor Lighthouse Church who was born and raised in LeBleu Settlement.  "We're here in LeBleu Settlement to we're trying to make sure nobody in LeBleu Settlement goes hungry," he said.  About six weeks ago, he, along with a community member who wishes...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly