BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The only man indicted in the December 2007 slaying of two Louisiana State University (LSU) graduate students from India is scheduled to stand trial on May 24.
State District Judge Chip Moore set that date at the request of prosecutor Steven Danielson and over the objection of Devin Parker’s attorney, Jim Holt.
Parker, 20, and two other men, all of Baton Rouge, were booked in May 2008 on two counts of first-degree murder in the Dec. 13, 2007, shooting deaths of Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam.
However, only Parker was indicted in September 2008 on two counts of second-degree murder.
The East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury neither indicted nor cleared Casey Gathers, 21, and Michael Lewis, 20.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III said on Oct. 29 that his office still hopes to develop enough evidence to indict others in the killings.
Prosecutors have two years from the Sept. 17, 2008, indictment to try the 20-year-old Parker.
“We are at least a year into our two-year clock,” Danielson told Moore.
Holt objected to setting a trial date because the state has yet to turn over to him any DNA evidence in the case.
“I haven’t seen anything that connects Parker to the scene,” he said after court.
Moore assured Holt that if the defense ultimately finds it needs more time to prepare for trial, he will be “reasonable.”
Komma, 31, and Allam, 33, were found shot to death at the Edward Gay Apartments on the LSU campus.
Parker identified Gathers as the triggerman and also told police that he and Lewis were involved in the crime, an arrest warrant says.
The document also states that Parker told investigators the details of what occurred inside the apartment, which had not been publicized.
Gathers and Lewis were released from jail on Sept. 22, 2008. Parker is still in jail. ♦