Opening statements to begin Tuesday in trial of first defendant - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Opening statements to begin Tuesday in trial of first defendant in Talen killing


A jury has just been seated for the first of eleven defendants arrested in connection with the killing of an elderly Lake Arthur man in February of 2015.

February 21st, 2015  Jeff Davis Sheriff's investigators attempt to notify the owner of this car it had been burned and left near Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.  When they are unable to contact the man to whom it was registered, 73 year old Charles Raymond Talen Senior, they go to his home in Lake Arthur.

Once there, Commander Chris Ivey said later, they discovered Talen's body.

"Our deputies had difficulties contacting him so they went back and located a white male laying on the floor inside the residence they could see from the outside,"said Ivey.

Investigators said Talen died of blunt force trauma to the head.

As the case progressed, investigators discovered various valuables had been taken from the house including a safe and gold coins valued at an estimated 50-thousand dollars.

Ivey in 2015: "We're still in the process of trying to locate evidence, weapons that were taken from the residence and used in the robbery were also looking for some additional gold coins and the possibility of some other individuals being involved"

Ultimately eleven people would be arrested in connection with the killing, robbery and efforts to cover it up.  Roderick Cawthorne Junior is the first to go on trial.

Back when it happened, Ivey said rumors that Talen had a large amount of money in his home may have been led to the attack and robbery.

"Rumors were going around that he had a large amount of cash in the residence which was not accurate,"he said in a 2015 interview.

At last word, investigators had recovered 46 one ounce gold coins worth more than 50 thousand dollars which came from a safe.

If convicted Cawthorne Jr. would face automatic life in prison.

Opening statements are to begin at nine tomorrow morning. No word on when the other defendants may go on trial.

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