Murder Charge Reduced in Pegues Case

The state is no longer prosecuting Daniel Pegues for the first degree murder of Calcasieu sheriff's deputy Alan Inzer, which means there's no possibility of a death sentence for now. Instead the charge has been reduced to second degree murder which means, if convicted, Pegues gets life in prison.

Cynthia Killingsworth is prosecuting the case. "We are filing the charge that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If other information develops in the investigation, that particular case is ongoing, and if we can recharge at first we will."

Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon says the element missing for first degree murder is proof that Pegues knew Inzer was a police officer. BASED ON THE EVIDENCE THEY HAVE SO FAR HE AGREES WITH SECOND DEGREE MURDER. Dixon: "The facts that we have right now support second degree and I think we have an extremely strong second degree case. Spending the rest of your life in jail is no walk in the park. Personally, I would rather get the death penalty than spend the rest of my life in jail."

But the investigation continues. Dixon: "We're quite certain that Mr. Inzer would have identified himself but we just need a witness to that effect."

Under the circumstances Sheriff Tony Mancuso agrees with second degree murder as well. "You know Alan would have had to identify himself as a police officer and I know in my heart, I'm sure he did that. That's what we're trained to do. And I feel like he probably jumped out of that truck and said , 'Sheriff's Office!.' But we gotta prove that and that may be very difficult to do."

At this point Pegues trial is set for October 29th.

Since he's no longer accused of first degree murder, defense attorneys from the "Capital Defense Project" have been released from representing Pegues. His newly appointed attorney is James Gaharan of Lake Charles. Gaharan had no comment concerning the case.