Testimony underway in trial of third suspect in the murder of Joshua Touchet

Testimony underway in trial of third suspect in murder of Joshua Touchet

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Testimony is underway in the trial of Desmond Orphey, accused of second-degree murder.

It started as an ordinary day, according to witness Clinton Curtice. He told about July 22, 2017 when he was robbed at Twelve Palms RV Park in Lake Charles.

Curtice told jurors, in the trial of Orphey, two men, with a gun robbed him of $7 and a cell phone. Before it was over, according to prosecutors, the two men had moved to Joshua Touchet who was sitting in his car. Touchet was shot dead after he refused demands to roll down his car window in a robbery.

Johnnie Hardman fired the gun and was convicted of first-degree murder last year. But according to investigators, Desmond Orphey was with Hardman and participated in the robbery. Therefore, he’s on trial on charges including second-degree murder and robbery.

Evidence in the case includes surveillance and body cam videos and video statements, much of which was published in Hardman’s trial, as former Calcasieu Assistant D.A. Daniel Vermaelen explained, last year after Hardman’s conviction.

"We basically could track their every movement from 4:24 that morning up until 6:15 when they were running away from the crime. We had the hop in video, surveillance video, showing they were all together, showing, showed what they were wearing. We tracked them later to Homsi's, about an hour later, after the robbery and shooting they were caught on home security just a couple hundred yards from the actual shooting taking off running," said Vermaelen.

Jurors in Orphey’ s trial watched graphic video from officers’ body cameras showing Touchet as he was removed from the car and efforts to save his life. He died from a single gunshot wound that moved through his body and to his heart.

In opening statements, the prosecutor told jurors, Orphey denied being there but that they will see him on surveillance video.

Besides Johnnie Hardman’s conviction, a juvenile, who was allegedly the lookout in the robbery, previously pleaded guilty in the case.

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