LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Due to the threat of Tropical Storm Barry, the jury in the capital murder trial of Kevin Daigle is moving back to Lake Charles in time for court Saturday morning—which will likely be the last day of the trial.
On Saturday, what is expected to be the last part of testimony will be held in Lake Charles. Then there will be closing arguments and the jury will deliberate to decide if Daigle should die for murdering State Trooper Steven Vincent. For Daigle to face execution the jury vote must be unanimous.
Daigle shot Vincent in Calcasieu Parish, but a change of venue from Lake Charles was granted to help assure Daigle gets a fair trial. On Tuesday, Daigle was convicted of first-degree murder and the penalty phase began Wednesday. The defense objects to moving the end of the trial to Lake Charles.
However, Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier does not expect that to cause a problem on appeal.
“This jury was selected here in Lafayette, they are all from Lafayette, changing it to a more favorable weather environment, a more favorable physical environment, for the safety of all the jurors and convenience of defense witnesses is not a problem,” said DeRosier.
Judge Clayton Davis said moving back to Lake Charles is for the safety and comfort of the jury and all involved. Plus, the judge said it will be easier for defense experts to get to Lake Charles than Lafayette.
The jury will be in the custody of Lafayette deputies who will come to Lake Charles. Jurors will be transported to Lake Charles after finishing Friday.
“Jurors will remain sequestered. That means they will be at all times, at all places, escorted by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department. So, they will be just as safe in Lake Charles as they would be from exposure to any kind of comments or criticism than if they were here in Lafayette,” said DeRosier.
The jury heard from two of Kevin Daigle’s grandchildren from Georgia today as the penalty phase of his capital murder trial continues.
Eleven-year-old Fallen testified she loves her “Paw Paw,” as she calls him, and visits him sometimes. When asked by the defense attorney how it would make her feel if he were not there to visit, she started crying.
Daigle’s 10-year-old grandson also testified that he loves his Paw Paw and his Paw Paw loves him.
Earlier, jurors heard from Daigle’s former wife who said it will be traumatic for the family if Daigle is executed.
The jury also heard from Kevin Foreman, who lived with Daigle and Blake Brewer, whom Daigle killed prior to killing Vincent.
Foreman testified that Brewer was a raging alcoholic and an angry drunk who had pulled a knife on Daigle several times. Foreman was not there when Daigle killed Brewer, which his attorneys say was self defense.
The defense continues putting on its side on Friday morning in Lafayette. After finishing up in court Friday the jury will be brought to Lake Charles.