Two experts accepted by court for Kevin Daigle trial

Two experts accepted by court for Kevin Daigle trial
Kevin Daigle (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A second pretrial hearing just ended in the case of Kevin Daigle, the man accused of killing State Trooper Steven Vincent in August 2015.

When Daigle goes on trial the first issue for the jury to decide is whether he is guilty of  First Degree Murder of State Trooper Steven Vincent.

If Daigle is found guilty as charged then the jury will consider whether he should get the death penalty or life in prison.

In the hearing, Judge Guy Bradberry accepted two witnesses as experts expected to testify in the penalty phase...

For the defense: Dr. Jeffrey Lewine from New Mexico, an expert in neuroscience, who says Daigle has a brain disease and possibly brain injury.

First Assistant D.A. Cynthia Killingsworth says the defense will use Lewine to try to keep Daigle from facing death:

"He will try to make the jury believe that the defendant has some sort of traumatic brain injury and therefore he didn't know what he was actually doing and shouldn't get the death penalty.  That's exactly what they're doing," said Killingsworth.

The judge also accepted Dr. Steve Thompson from McNeese as an expert in intoxication; and observation and detection of impaired drivers. He could be used to refute the defense.

"We're going to be proving that he knew what he was doing and knew the difference between right and wrong and for that, he deserves to get the death penalty," said Killingsworth.

Next, the attorneys go to Benton in Bossier Parish to hear preliminary excuses from those summoned for jury duty April 30th.

"The defense filed a motion for change of venue because of the publicity in this case, and because it involves a Louisiana state trooper.  We did not oppose that motion and the judge moved the case to get the jury in Bossier," said Killingsworth.

Once a jury is picked in Bossier Parish it will be brought back to Calcasieu for the trial.

Defense attorneys declined to appear on camera.

The judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys will travel to Bossier Parish Thursday to consider hardship excuses already requested from approximately 100 summoned for jury duty there. No word on the number of people who have actually been summoned.

The trial is still set for April 30th, though the defense has filed five more motions that will be heard at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

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