Earles sets trial date for Prince murder trial
CROWLEY -- Two weeks have been set aside in 15th Judicial District Court for the capital murder trial of a man accused of killing two Acadia Parish women in January 2005.
Judge Kristian Earles has designated April 11 through April 23 (Good Friday) for Daniel Prince’s trial.
A final motions date has been set for March 31.
Earles, according to court documents, has instructed that a jury pool be summoned for April 7.
Potential jurors will be issued a questionnaire approved by the court before 20 to 25 are called at a time for voir dire – the oral examination by defense and prosecution which concludes with selection of jurors.
Some extraordinary measures are involved it he process in this instance because it is a capital case.
The state believes 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.”
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.
The state will try to prove that Prince, 34, killed Jackie Campbell and Angie Motte at their Branch home, then set fire to it to cover his crime.
The killings occurred on the weekend of Campbell’s 40th birthday. Motte was 38 at the time of her death.
Prince, also known as Daniel Bernard, was arrested by Acadia authorities in 2007 after allegedly bragging to fellow inmates while service time on another charge about the murders and was indicted in October 2007.
Since the indictment, the case has been the subject of numerous motions and hearings. It is not unusual for hundreds of pages of paperwork to stack up in capital cases.
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.