LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Testimony is underway in the trial of Ronald McLain, accused of first-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping in the killing of John Michael Deville. A jury was seated just before lunch Thursday.
Deville's body was found next to his pickup truck along the side of Interstate 10 westbound in Sulphur on June 26 of 2018.
Prosecutors say Deville had left the Isle of Capri Casino and discovered McLain in the parking lot trying to burglarize vehicles. Felony Chief, for the Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office, Jacob Johnson, says McLain forced Deville to drive him away.
The prosecutor says McLain hit Deville in the back of the head with a wrench, causing a skull fracture and that another defendant shot him.
Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke says either injury was enough to kill him.
Jurors saw gruesome photos of Deville’s body next to the interstate and autopsy photos.
Earlier in opening statements, the defense attorney predicted jurors will see holes in the state's case. Plus, she says McLain said he'd been shooting up ecstasy, cocaine, meth and doing marijuana for several days and was not in his right mind because his sister had died.
Defense attorney Catherine Stagg also says there's a lack of fingerprints or DNA evidence. She says the wrench was not tested for blood.
McLain was arrested after he was discovered in a wooded area.
The state also expects to show how cell phone records tracked McLain’s movements after the killing of Deville. Johnson says McLain took the victim’s cell phone, and eventually dumped it in a gas station trash can.
A second defendant in the case, Kenneth Williams, is to be tried separately.
The case is to resume Friday morning before Judge Ron Ware.