Attorneys ask to have two-decade-old murder case thrown out

Attorneys ask to have two-decade-old murder case thrown out
District Court Judge Mike Canaday has been recused from a 1998 homicide case. Dennis Jerome Bartie is accused of killing Rose Born. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Attorneys for a man accused of a homicide more than two decades ago are asking for the case to be thrown out after a judge on the case was recused.

In February, state district court Judge Mike Canaday was recused from Dennis Jerome Bartie’s second-degree murder case. Bartie is charged in the 1998 stabbing death of Rose Born, who was found dead in her donut shop.

The motion to quash the charges is expected to be heard Wednesday before Judge Clayton Davis.

Defense attorneys Todd Clemons and Adam Johnson argue that Canaday abused his discretion by always siding with the prosecution. Chief among their arguments is that Canaday unsealed the record associated with Bartie’s indigency status without notifying the defense.

Clemons and Johnson say the record “contained specific insight into the defendant’s strategy for defending this case, including particularized reasons for the need and intended use of expert witnesses.”

Fellow state district court Judge Clayton Davis recused Canaday from the case.

An appeals court also ruled a confession by Bartie inadmissible, saying it came after Bartie invoked his right to remain silent and was not free and voluntary. The appeals court also said law enforcement and prosecutors using the threat of the death penalty against Bartie was an “impermissible inducement.” Bartie was only 17 on July 8, 1998 - meaning were he to be convicted of the crime, he would not be eligible for the death penalty.

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