Daigle attorneys seek trial delay and different parish for change of venue

Daigle attorneys seek trial delay and different parish for change of venue
Kevin Daigle (Source: Louisiana State Police)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Defense attorneys for Kevin Daigle were in state court on Friday asking for his trial to be delayed again and that the judge choose a different place to pick a jury.

Daigle also was in court. He's accused of first-degree murder of State Trooper Steven Vincent in 2015.

Daigle's trial has been postponed a couple of times and special prosecutor Rick Bryant argues there's been plenty of time to prepare.

"This idea that we're still not prepared after all this time I find a little bit disingenuous," he said. "I truly believe there's no more work to be done in this case. If there is, then they have a real problem because it's been a long time," he said.

The court agreed months ago that due to publicity, a jury should be picked outside Calcasieu to make sure Daigle gets a fair trial.

Judge Guy Bradberry chose Bossier Parish, but now the defense wants a more Catholic area like Lafayette, arguing it's more like Calcasieu and that  Catholics are less likely to vote for the death penalty.

The plan is to pick the jury and bring it to Lake Charles for the evidence part of the trial. Now the defense wants the entire trial out of town, partly to avoid the influence of law officers who knew Vincent, they indicated in court.

"I was offended by the idea that law enforcement officers who wait on the jurors, you know they're going to be housed in a hotel, that somehow that they would infect the jurors or create some kind of bias. And that was very offensive to me," said Bryant.

Defense attorneys say they have another capital case just before Daigle, and cannot provide adequate counsel for a trial date of April 30.

The defense says Daigle would plead guilty and spend life in prison if they take the death penalty off the table. But for one thing, Bryant says in Louisiana, life no longer means life.

"These career criminals are now getting out 20, 30 years early and lifers are now eligible to have their sentence commuted when they reach age 45. It's a terrible situation as far as I"m concerned," said Bryant.

And he says some people deserve to face the death penalty.

"Some people forfeit their lives for the deeds that they commit," said Bryant. "He was on his way to do harm to his own son."

The judge denied the request to move the venue or delay the trial again, telling attorneys, "There is no perfect time."

Defense attorneys declined to be interviewed.

The other person Daigle allegedly killed was his roommate Blake Brewer, who died before Vincent.

On January 8, at 1:30 p.m.,Judge Bradberry is to rule whether testimony from Daigle's daughter, about him allegedly molesting her, will be allowed in the penalty phase of his trial. Again, the trial is set for April 30, 2018.

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