Defense pushing hard to get Daigle trial continued

Defense pushing hard to get Daigle trial continued
Kevin Daigle (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the capital murder trial of Kevin Daigle, accused of killing a state trooper in 2015.

But now, the defense asks for another change of venue because of a State Police operation they call a publicity stunt.   And the defense has filed another motion to continue the trial, saying there are too many unresolved issues for Daigle to get a fair trial.

Special Prosecutor Rick Bryant isn't surprised.

"It's another day, it's another motion.  The defense has filed over 100 at this point.  This particular motion for change of venue will be the third change of venue motion that we've heard," he said.

This time the defense is seeking a change of venue due to something State Police did.

On April 19th police announced "Operation D-57" -- an arrest round up of 180 fugitives and others allegedly involved in criminal activity in northwest and central Louisiana.

The operation was named in honor of Trooper Steven Vincent's State Police unit.

A post on the State Police Facebook page quoted Vincent's young son Ethan asking they "find a lot of drugs" if they used his fathers unit number..

The defense attorney calls it an "epic publicity stunt" by State Police and wants the venue changed, again.

But Bryant disputes that State Police were in any way trying to influence public opinion about the case.

"I think it's a ludicrous thought.  I think, if anything, the State Police would tiptoe around any incident that they think would tarnish the case or prevent it from going forward.  I think just they opposite is going on.  They would not want to have information released or do anything that would affect the ability of trying this case," he said.

At this point, Bryant expects jury selection to start Monday.

"The only reason it wouldn't go is if the motion to recuse the judge is granted by Third Circuit or by the  Supreme Court. Other than that, we're ready to start Monday morning, we're leaving Sunday night , the state's team is leaving Sunday night and we'll begin jury selection Monday and hopefully get a jury within a week or two and then bring them back to Calcasieu and finish this case."

Not long after our interview the Third Circuit denied the request to recuse Judge Guy Bradberry.

When offered the opportunity to comment, the defense team said their motion speaks for itself.

State Police deferred comment to the DA's office due to the upcoming trial.

See the motions and Third Circuit ruling below:

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