Archive for the ‘ Louisiana ’ Category

Derrick Todd Lee denied request for new trial

 

By Quincy Hodges, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A Baton Rouge judge has denied convicted killer Derrick Todd Lee’s appeal for a new trial in the killing of former LSU graduate 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace. Lee was sentenced to death in 2004.

Lee’s case automatically goes to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and if his claims are rejected, the case would go to the federal post-conviction relief stage. Lee made 28 claims, arguing the state has improper death penalty laws, East Baton Rouge Parish systemically discriminates against people of color, misconduct of trial counsel and he had ineffective defense counsel. All his claims were denied by District Judge Richard Anderson Tuesday afternoon.

Lee, 45, of St. Francisville, was also convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Geralyn Barr DeSoto, 21, of Addis in 2002.

Lee is also suspected of killing seven women between in 1998 and 2003 in south Louisiana.

Article

I do not understand why he is still being allowed to torment people, the families and communities that these ladies lived in. It is not right that he is allowed to keep inflicting pain and fear.

 

Victims on about.com

Of course that does not include everyone he has hurt.

Wikipedia article

Crime Library article

Possible Serial Killer Brandon Lavergne Indicted for 2 Murders

LAFAYETTE, LA — Brandon Lavergne, 33, has been indicted for two homicide cases, but investigators say that may not be the end to this story.

“We’re looking into all of our unresolved cases and we’re looking into other areas as well,” Cpt. Kip Judice, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, explained. “Anytime you have a person who you believe to be responsible for multiple deaths, you’re going to review all cold cases. So what we’ve done is established a course of time to determine any missing person cases or homicides that have similarities.”

On Wednesday, July 18, a grand jury in Lafayette indicted Lavergne for the kidnapping and murder of Mickey Shunick. In a surprise twist, he was also indicted for the murder of Lisa Pate, 35, who was reported missing back in June 1999. Unlike Shunick, Pate’s body was recovered three months after she went missing under large boards in a field near Church Point.

“We are confident about Lavergne’s connection to these two cases,” Cpt. Judice, noted. “At this point in time, I am unaware of any other cases that we have such strong evidence.”

Judice noted that Lafayette Parish has roughly two dozen unresolved missing person cases that date back to roughly 1997.

“As much as we’re looking at cases he could have possibly been involved with, we’re also looking to clear him from cases as well,” Cpt. Judice, explained.

Any case that happened between 2000-2008 could not be connected to Lavergne because he was incarcerated for oral sexual battery. He was convicted for typing up, blindfolding and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman from Evangeline Parish back in 1999.

“Everyone initially thought that he would be connected to the Jeff Davis murders, but he was incarcerated at the time, so there’s no possible way he could have been connected to those cases,” Cpt. Judice, said. “Also, he worked off shore, so we need to account for that time and find those cases that fit that timeline.”

For now, investigators are not ruling out any possible matches. Lavergne’s past conviction as well as the two homicides for which he’s been indicted, have striking difference.

“I think these are two distinct cases,” Cpt. Judice, said. “I don’t know what his motive is in the two cases we know about.

“We are pretty confident we know how he accomplished Mickey’s homicide,” he continued. “The information is limited in the Pate case. Yes, we have a clue, but we don’t expect an offender to commit the same crime the same way. For example, Pate wasn’t riding a bike, but Mickey was. The girl in Evangeline Parish was an associate of his, so he knew her, but we don’t think that he knew Mickey or Pate. We have a lot to look at.”

Examining those cold cases brings an added level of difficulty when you factor in the surviving loved ones.

“We want to make sure we have a connection before we contact the loved ones of someone who may have been murdered because we don’t want to give them false hope,” Cpt. Judice, said. “The last thing we would want is to make them feel as though they might get some closure and then not be able to give that to them.”

What’s certain is that the strong attention brought by the Mickey Shunick case is what lead investigators to examine Lavergne as a possible suspect in the first place.

“The one good thing that came out of this is that the media did a good job of keeping this guy looking over his should and keeping him at bay,” Cpt. Judice concluded. “It’s not all law enforcement, it’s a community effort, especially in this case. When this case goes to trial, I think there will be many things that come to light that the community will be proud of because they had a part in uncovering that information. The community really stepped up to the plate.”

Article

Louisiana Serial Killer’s Art For Sale

BY KORAN ADDO Westside bureau January 30, 2012

MORE FROM THE ADVOCATE

ARTICLE AND VIDEO

Convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee has artwork for sale online with at least one drawing selling a day afterit was posted on the site.

A colored pencil drawing of a panda bear eating bamboo is selling for $75 and another colored pencil drawing of two swans against a sunset backdrop,which is listed as “out of stock,” were both posted on serialkillersink.net, a crime memorabilia website started by Jacksonville, Fla., husband and wife,Eric and Jessika Gein.

The site offers certificates of authenticity for the locks of hair, artwork,Christmascards and other personaleffects provided to the site by convicted killers.

But, without an explanation, Lee’s drawings and a letter he wrote — that was on sale for $30 — were removed Friday from the website’s main page. The drawings, however,were still available on the website’s online store Sunday evening.

Although a disclaimer says the cannibals, mass shooters and serialkillers promoted onthe website don’t profit from the items they submit, records from aninmate services website, called JPay, show that since January 2010 co-founder Jessika Gein has sent installments totaling $700 to at least six convicted murderers nationwide,including a $20 payment to Lee earlier this month.

During a telephone interview last week,Gein denied sending money to inmates. She also said she has never directly corresponded with Lee. Prison authorities, however, said they have records disputing those claims.

Louisiana doesn’t have a law preventing inmates from profiting from their notoriety, but authorities at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola launched an investigation Wednesday into whether Lee violated prison policy by mailing items he knew were going to be sold,and whether he expected to profit from their sale.

Lee, 43, was sentenced to death in 2004 for the first-degree murder of 22-year-old Baton Rouge resident Charlotte Murray Pace. He is also serving a life sentence for the murder of Geralyn DeSoto, 21,of Addis. Authoritieshave identified him as a suspect in the murders of five other south Louisiana women between 1998 and 2003.

May 31 will mark the 10-year anniversary of Pace’s murder. Her mother, Ann Pace, reacted Friday to Lee’s most recent pursuit.

“It’s like we can never be rid of him. Like he reaches out from some dark place and stabs you in the heart. Who in the name of heaven buys these things,” she asked. “It’s like it sucks the breath out of you and takes you back to such a dark place.”

Jessika Gein,29, who said she used to work in real estate,and her husband, Eric, 42, a graphic designer, launched serialkillersink.net in 2008 after years of corresponding with inmates.

The couple’s shared interest inthe macabre led them into what’s she called “murderabilia”or the murder memorabilia industry, she said. They run their website full-time.

“A lot of serial killers enjoy doing art. It’sa nice outlet for them,” Gein said. “We found out there’s a strong market for this stuff. We have a very broad range of customers: doctors, lawyers, soccer moms; you name it.”

Gein said she and her husband each correspond with about 50 inmates at any given time.

“I genuinely have an interest in these people,” Jessika Gein said. “I have questionsto ask them. If they seem like a person I’d like to get to know, I’ll pick up a pen and write to them.”

Gein said a friend of Lee’s approached her a few months ago, offering to sell the killer’s artwork. She declined to say how much she paid.

Gein said she knew the artwork was authentic because it arrived signed and dated by Lee in an envelope with Angola’s address on it. The envelope also had a death row stamp on the front, she said.

Gein posted the items on her website two weeks ago. The drawing of the swans sold in one day, she said.

Jessika Gein said she and her husband don’t put too much thought into how their business affects crime victims.

“I’m not really thinking about the victims. We don’t go out of our way to advertise our website; it’s for certain people who are looking for the kinds of things we sell,” she said. “We’re not out to hurt feelings,but feelings do get hurt.”

Angola WardenBurlCain said investigators spoke to Lee on Thursday after learning his artwork had been posted online.

Lee admitted mailing his drawings to Gein, but indicated that he didn’t know they were going to be sold, Cain said.

Lee, one of 80 offenders on death row at Angola,spends 23 hours a day in his cell. Death row inmates are given sketch pads, colored-pencils and glue to keep themselves busy. They are allowed — with some restrictions — to mail their drawings and letters to whom they choose, Cain said.

“It looks like the website scammed him; they’re horrible people,” Cain said. “He was being nice because she was flirty. He didn’t have a clue they were going to be sold. This is appalling to us because we have to think of the victims. Victims trump in our business.”

Col. Bobby Achord, head of  investigations at Angola, said Gein sent Lee a Christmas card in December to which the inmate responded, hoping to establish a penpal relationship.

Identifying herself as Jessika Miller, Gein sent Lee another note on Jan. 5 with a picture of a blonde woman and wired $20 to his prison account using JPay.

A portion of Gein’s letter to Lee reads: “I’m sorry to hear about you not being able to send pictures, some people have to ruin it for everyone, I guess… I’m glad you took the time to write me back! I’d like some of your art you speak about. Thanks for letting me know that you can accept JPay. I sent $20 to your account.”

Lee mailed his drawings to Gein shortly after receiving the note, Achord said.

While Lee may have violated state Department of Corrections rules,there is no Louisiana law preventing him from earning money from his drawings.

A deadline also has passed for Lee’s victims’ families to seek compensation through the state’s victims reparations statute.

East Baton Rouge Parish First Assistant District Attorney Prem Burnssaid the statute allows relatives of murdered victims to apply for up to $25,000 from a convicted offender within one year of the conviction being finalized,or once the state Supreme Court denies a defendant’s first application for appeal.

“There really isn’t any law in Louisiana stopping someone like Derrick Todd Lee from doing this,”Burns said. “It’s offensive and I would think one of our legislators would want to address this.”

 

I agree that convicts should not be able to profit from their crimes. I am still against banning all murderablilia, I just do not know how regulations would work or what kind of nets can b put into place to make sure the killers are not making the money.

I also think that the law restricting how long a family has to collect or file for compensation from a criminal has to be changed. 1 year is way way to short. Actually there should never be a deadline. A judge should set the compensation and it should have to be paid off, no time limits.
As far as Lee being taken advantage of, ha! I hope that was not supposed to make me feel bad for him.

Family member sees ‘justice’ differently

I noted the Rev. Jeremy Tobin’s description of the justice system (“Poor, minorities paying price of ‘justice’,” Oct. 2 letter).

I thought I would offer another view – one from a victim’s family member perspective. The convicted serial killer in my own case murdered seven women in Louisiana.

Tobin states that our justice system “is built to round up black men, transfer public funds to private companies to warehouse them, and then kill them.”

This is quite different from my experience whereby serial murderer Derrick Lee was represented at trial by three very competent attorneys, one a Millsaps graduate.

As a result of overwhelming evidence – including seven bodies with his DNA, an eyewitness, and other forensic evidence – he was convicted and sentenced to death by a multiracial jury.

It is not true as Tobin says that offenders who are “well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.” Moreover, Lee is being housed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, a state rather than a private institution.

Though Lee’s conviction has been upheld twice already at the level of the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana and Mississippi both allow for what is called post-conviction relief (whenever I use that term, I always pause to appreciate the utter irony of that nomenclature), which is yet another set of appeals allowed in capital cases, even those with overwhelming forensic evidence for guilt.

I will go again to Louisiana District Court on Wednesday as I have for years for yet another hearing whereby the defense attorney Gary Clements – out to “score more wins” as Tobin says the prosecutors do -files endless specious claims on behalf of his serial killer client. The post conviction process allows Clements to hijack the legal system, contrary to a rational application of the law.

To me it appears to be a clear case of defense attorneys failing to care at all about the human or fiscal cost of their actions, failing to value honor or justice for the dead, and – in my experience – contempt for the families of those who died at the hands of killers.

Here I have to agree with Tobin; our justice system is “anything but reasonable.” Were it reasonable in cases where DNA – which is considered absolute proof by the Innocence Project – is available, the obvious would be accepted. There is no logic for post-conviction appeals in such cases.

The post-conviction process should be congruent with scientific fact. Good science is the best certainty for justice for all of us – regardless of ethnicity or sex or income level.

Ann R. Pace

Jackson

Here

Fact sheet on Derrick Todd Lee

Victims

 

Jennings, Louisiana Unsolved Serial Killings

“Kirk Menard mentions that his end of the investigation has slowed down somewhat due to the upcoming Sheriff election. There is concern that whatever tips might be submitted at this time might fall on “deaf ears” until a candidate is in office. He does still have one employee that works undercover in an attempt to continue to gather information. His agency still submits any new tips/leads to the Task Force but now just pretty much gets a “thank you” whereas in the past (prior to the election in progress) they might be asked to try to gather more info on the tip…..go back to the source and ask additional questions. KM was more or less kept at a distance prior to submitting his DNA sample and feels that after he was ‘cleared’ the TF pulled him in closer and at times, even emailed him for information…..and that they were willing to taking any information they could get.”

Murder In Jeff Davis Parish

Behind The Yellow Tape – A Serial Killer in Jennings, LA – Part 12

Host:  Joey Ortega
Guest
:  Kirk Menard & Michael Dubois
Airdate:  Fri, Sep 16, 2011

A little ‘disclaimer’ prior to the re-cap…..due to my own time constraints lately, the following was basically typed out without much regard to sentence structure, grammar or punctuation.  In other words…..it’s rather raw.  None-the-less, I trust that all reading will get the full gist of the interview.  I was ‘alerted’ via several emails, AND phone calls, that if I hadn’t listened to this particular show yet….I REALLY needed to soon.  It took me a little longer than I would have liked it to but, I did finally listen to it.  I have to say, those that ‘alerted’ me about the show WERE right!  Parts of it were quite surprising and really ‘eye opening’ and some of it rather…

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Serial Killer Jeffery Lee Guillory Convicted.

Man accused of killing three convicted in third murder.

 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – An East Baton Rouge Parish jury has convicted an alleged serial killer of second-degree murder.

The Advocate reports that (http://bit.ly/nHoBVp) 45-year-old Jeffery Lee Guillory was convicted Sunday night of killing 46-year-old Renee Newman in 2002.

The charge carries an automatic sentence of life in prison.

Guillory was arrested in December 2009 and booked with Newman’s death and those of Sylvia Cobb in 2001 and Florida Edwards in 1999.

Both were 36 and from Baton Rouge.

He is already serving 50 years for second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree murder of a woman in Lafayette in late 2007.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings said that Guillory’s DNA was found on Newman’s shirt, and that the shirt was used to strangle her.

Her body was found behind an old department store building.

 

 

Serial Killer Jeffery Guillory’s Trial Begins.

(CBS/AP) BATON ROUGE, La. – Jury selection is set to begin Monday afternoon in the second-degree murder trial of suspected serial killer Jeffery Lee Guillory.

The 45-year-old Guillory is charged in the strangulation of 46-year-old Renee Newman of Baton Rouge.

Guillory was arrested in December 2009 and booked in the deaths of Newman, Florida Edwards and Sylvia Cobb. Police have said Guillory has twice denied knowing Newman or Edwards, although his DNA matched evidence found at both women’s crime scenes.

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Guillory in May 2010 only in the killing of Newman.

Her body was found April 11, 2002.

Guillory reportedly remains a suspect in several other unsolved killings of women in Baton Rouge that occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Here

An interesting twist in this case is that there is a chance that serial killer Sean Vincent Gillis  might be called  to testify.

Attorneys for suspected serial murderer Jeffery Lee Guillory have subpoenaed convicted serial killer Sean Vincent Gillis to testify at Guillory’s upcoming trial and have requested Gillis’ taped police interviews and interrogations, one of Guillory’s attorneys said Wednesday.

Whether Gillis actually takes the witness stand at Guillory’s second-degree murder trial, set for Sept. 19, remains to be seen because the defense cannot call Gillis to the stand if all he intends to do is assert his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Guillory’s defense team contends Gillis associated with Renee Newman, the 46-year-old Baton Rouge woman Guillory is accused of killing in 2002.

State District Judge Tony Marabella said Wednesday he will make a determination Sept. 13 regarding Gillis’ “status as a witness in this case.’’

“Mr. Gillis needs to decide what he wants to do. If he pleads the Fifth, the question is why,’’ Franz Borghardt, one of Guillory’s court-appointed attorneys, said after a hearing in the case.

Authorities have alleged that Guillory and Gillis targeted women who led high-risk lifestyles.

Full story

I doubt that Gillis will testify but there is a chance that he will ‘play along’ for the attention. What are they going to do to him if he agrees and then pleads the 5th? Give him a contempt of court charge?

 

Guillory is also mentioned as a potential suspect in the Jennings Louisiana Killings.

Though Guillory has been in jail since last year on unrelated charges, detectives are also investigating whether he could be involved in a series of murders in Jennings, Louisiana, where cops believe a serial killer is on the loose.

So far, eight women in the town of just 10,546 people have been killed between 2005 and this past August. Many of the murders took place before Guillory was sent to jail on the unrelated charge.

From here

I have a page on Shutterfly about the unsolved serial murders in Jennings, Louisiana. There are many videos and news links there.

I do not think that that he is the killer in any of the Jennings case though.

The Multi-Agency Task Force in Jefferson Davis Parish is aware of the arrest of Jeffery Guillory by the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Although Jeffery Guillory has been on the Task Force’s radar since his arrest by the Jennings Police Department in May 2007, it is important to note that he has been incarcerated since January 25, 2008, and, therefore, could not be responsible for the deaths of Laconia “Muggy” Brown, Crystal Shay Benoit Zeno, Brittney Gary or Necole Guillory.

Jeffery Guillory is charged in connection with the homicides of three Baton Rouge women in 1999, 2001, and 2002. Law Enforcement has remained diligent for the last 10 years to solve those crimes. The Task Force will continue to work hard and is committed to bringing closure to the eight victims from Jefferson Davis Parish.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Multi-Agency Task Force at 337-824-6662 or http://www.jeffdaviscrimes.net. The Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney’s Office and the FBI are offering a reward of up to $85,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these murders.

From Here

I think some in law enforcement were just hoping that it could be him.

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