Kevin Daigle pursuing intoxication defense in capital trial

Kevin Daigle pursuing intoxication defense in capital trial
Kevin Daigle (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Defense motions filed in state district court indicate that Kevin Daigle plans to suggest that he was so drunk that he should not be found guilty.

Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the death of State Trooper Steven Vincent. He is facing the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

Rick Bryant is special prosecutor in the case.

"When he was brought to the hospital after the shooting, he read .28, so he was legally probably triple the amount of intoxication or alcohol in his system and he had some drugs in his system. So he was legally intoxicated.  The law is simple.  It says this.  If you voluntarily get drunk, it is no legal defense.  However, if you're so intoxicated that you could not form specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, that is a defense," explained Bryant.

However, Bryant says the state will be able to prove Daigle's guilt.

"'I was so high on drugs, I was so drunk that I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't form any specific intent to kill, so therefore, you have to let me go,' and that's basically what the defense is. We're going to prove through his actions, his deeds, his words that he knew exactly what he was doing.  However, that is a legal defense and that is something the jury will have to consider," said Bryant.

Another motion is to prohibit officers there to watch from wearing their uniforms.  But Bryant says they can't do that.

"I think it's a frivolous motion.  We've had this motion in other cases and the courts have unanimously indicated there's nothing wrong with an officer being in the courtroom in uniform. The idea that it will be hundreds and hundreds I think is a little over stretched. It was moved to large Courtroom A because it generated a lot of publicity.  We're not sure now many people from the public wanna be there.  We're not sure how many law enforcement want to be there," said Bryant.

I tried the Bill McIntosh, the deputy who was killed.  They filed that motion in that case, that was a capital case some years back and we had many uniformed deputies in the courtroom.  There's nothing that prohibits it, it's a standard motion that defense attorneys file but I don't think it has any merit at all.  The law says they can. I don't believe we're going to lose that motion," said Bryant.

The trial will be held in larger Courtroom A in the old Calcasieu Courthouse to provide more seating.

Since it's a capital case a unanimous verdict is required in the guilt phase and to impose death rather than a  life sentence.

Another motion deals with raising the standard of proof  in the penalty phase to beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required in the guilt phase.  Bryant says they can't do that either.

A third motion deals with the defense's request for the report of a local psychiatrist who examined Daigle--because he plans an intoxication defense:

Fourth, the defense says Daigle is hard of hearing and they want a hearing aid or other accommodations for him. Bryant says the state is fine with that.

The last motion filed seeks to restrict the state's closing argument during the penalty phase of the trial to the evidence and prohibit what defense attorneys call improper, prejudicial and inflammatory arguments that would influence the jury.

Copies of the motions can be found below:

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