CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Judge Guy Bradberry will remain on the Kevin Daigle capital murder case unless an appeals court says otherwise.
Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 killing of State Trooper Steven Vincent.
In August, it will be three years since Daigle allegedly shot and killed Vincent on the side of a rural road. Daigle is charged with first degree murder and the state is seeking the death penalty.
Now the defense wants to remove Bradberry from the case. Reason one is because he and the victim's wife both worked in the juvenile justice system. but special prosecutor Rick Bryant says they've known that from the beginning.
"To remove a judge is a major undertaking. You have to show bias or prejudice to remove him. The only thing that they could show was that Katherine Vincent worked in the juvenile court system, and that Judge Bradberry was on the bench and that she was in the courtroom handling some cases with juveniles over the years," said Bryant.
Secondly the defense wants Bradberry taken off the case because of what what Daigle's attorneys considered social media interaction. Daigle's defense attorneys say Bradberry and Vincent's wife are Facebook friends. Judge Bradberry testified that he or his wife may have "liked" a prayers post for the family on a shared Facebook page, but he doesn't remember doing so..
"I think there was something that came out that there was a happy birthday wish to Katherine Vincent's son on the Facebook about two years before this incident. He indicated he didn't recall ever making a happy birthday but says he does bunches of them all the time, just as a courtesy. I don't think there was anything brought up that necessitated his being removed as judge on this case," said Bryant.
After a hearing, Judge Clayton Davis denied the motion to remove Bradberry, though the defense plans to appeal.
"They could have filed this motion two years ago and they did not do that. I really think it was an effort to continue the trial even further," said Bryant.
As it stands, the trial is set for April 30th when jury selection is to start in Benton in Bossier parish.
Defense attorneys declined to appear on camera. They are Kyla Romanach and Bruce Unangst of Baton Rouge.