D.A. seeks death penalty
The state has declared that Daniel Prince’s alleged murder of two Branch women was done with aggravated circumstances, a qualification of a capital murder charge.
The Acadia Parish District Attorney’s Office has advised the court and defense attorneys of its declaration.
Prince “knowingly created a risk of death or great bodily harm to more than one person ... committed in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner,” the state’s declaration, filed in late May, says.
Aggravating circumstances are most often brought into play if a capital defendant is found guilty and the jury is considering the death penalty.
The state is seeking the death penalty in this case.
Under Louisiana law, if the DA seeks a capital verdict and the jury convicts, then the accused is punished by death or by mandatory life imprisonment, a determination made by the jury in the trial’s penalty phase. A death sentence requires a unanimous jury vote.
If the DA does not seek a capital verdict, the offender is punished by mandatory life imprisonment without a penalty phase of the trial.
Prince, 34, is accused of killing Jackie Campbell and Angie Mott in their home in January 2005 and then setting fire to it.
Prince, also known as Daniel Bernard, was arrested by Acadia authorities in 2007 after allegedly bragging to fellow inmates about the murders.
The DA also has served notice of its intent to use the confession or “inculpatory statement” by Prince to Michael Hayes at Allen Correctional Center.
That alleged statement was made almost two years after the killings, four days before Christmas 2006.
Since filing the two notices of intent in late May, the DA’s Office has also filed a letter with the court regarding the case. It was sealed by Judge Kristian Earles and parties are prohibited by rule from discussing its contents.
Prince is scheduled for trial on Aug. 30.
Before then, the court will rule on pending pre-trial motions, including the state’s desire to introduced evidence of alleged previous crimes by Prince.
Prince is represented by Burleigh Doga of Crowley and Louis Garrot of Abbeville.
Asst. DA Roger Hamilton, Jr., is prosecuting.