Motions heard in Prince case, accused in Branch double murder

CROWLEY -- 15th Judicial Dist. Judge Kristian Earles has continued without date the trial date of accused double murderer Daniel Prince. Earles heard motions in the capital case on Monday and agreed to a continuance requested by the defense.

Prince is accused of the January 2005 killings of Jackie Campbell and Angie Mott in their Branch home. He was arrested in the case in 2007 after allegedly bragging to a fellow state prison inmate about the murders.

Prince’s lawyers, Burleigh Doga and Louis Garrot, actually filed two motions for a continuance. The first asserted they needed additional time to prepare for the penalty phase of the trial. If there is a conviction a second phase -- determining whether the death penalty is applied -- is held.

The defense later move for a continuance on the grounds that the audio disc supplied by the state is inaudible in some parts. The disc allegedly contains Prince’s jailhouse bragging.

Another motion before the court is by Assistant DA Roger Hamilton, Jr. It asks for an in-chambers inspection by Earles of the defense team’s trial docket with case load information.

The state also wants the judge to review the defense’s capital litigation experience, including amount of cases tried and the education and certification of both lawyers. Proper and adequate representation is a key issue in capital cases and it is not out of the ordinary for the state to request such review before trial.

Earles set Aug. 30, which had been the trial date, as the deadline for filing motions and for argument on them. Following that, he is expected to set a new trial date.

In a related matter, the defense has asked Clerk of Court Robert Barousse to give consideration to altering the manner in which prospective jurors are notified of service, including the possibility of adding a questionnaire that would save time once the voir dire begins.

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