SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – After about two hours of deliberations late Wednesday afternoon, a Caddo Parish jury found 29-year-old Tre’veon Anderson guilty of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the slaying of off-duty Shreveport police officer Chatéri Payne.
Co-defendant Glenn Frierson, 42, was found not guilty on both counts.
The votes were unanimous on each of the four charges.
Anderson, Payne’s boyfriend at the time of the murder and the father of her then-2-year-old child, faces a mandatory term of life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence, plus an additional 30 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit second-degree murder conviction when he is formally sentenced on May 11.
The verdict came relatively quickly after a morning of delays as the defense and prosecutors spent nearly two-and-a-half hours in Caddo District Judge John Mosely’s chambers negotiating about what would and wouldn’t be in the jury instructions before returning to the courtroom around 12:45 p.m. to begin closing arguments.
Closing arguments began precisely at 1 p.m. and concluded at 2:59 p.m. After a half-hour break, the jury returned and Mosely read the 17-page instructions to the jury, which left to deliberate shortly before 4 p.m. The verdict came just after 6 p.m.
The latest phase of the trial comes after two weeks of testimony and sometimes contentious courtroom sparring as the prosecution and the defense examined witnesses and picked apart everything from investigators’ interrogation tactics to details over DNA.
Officer Payne was fatally shot on Jan. 9, 2019, as she prepared to leave for her shift as an SPD patrol officer.
Lawrence Pierre, 24, was originally scheduled to go on trial with co-defendants, but instead pleaded guilty on the morning the trial was set to begin. In exchange, the prosecution dismissed the conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Both sides wrapped up their respective cases Tuesday, the 12th day of the trial, but not before the defense recalled Kari Dicken, DNA forensic scientist at the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab, who testified for the state on April 12.
Dicken testified that the major DNA found on the Glock 23 40-caliber gun that killed Payne did not belong to either of the defendants.
Instead, only the DNA of 26-year-old Dunnivick Hicks was found on the weapon. Hicks is Pierre’s first cousin, and the weapon was found in his apartment a few days after Payne’s death.
When she was recalled to the stand, Dicken said that the last person who touched the gun would have left the most DNA on it, refuting Hicks’ claim that he didn’t know the gun was hidden in his apartment. She also said she could neither confirm nor deny that any of the defendants’ DNA was on the gun, only that Hicks’ DNA was on it.
When the verdicts were read in the courtroom, no one made a sound, but Payne’s mother, who had faithfully attended every day of the trial from gavel to gavel, fell to the floor on her knees and quietly sobbed.
Following the verdict, Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart praised his staff, saying the case was not simple, and in addition to the prosecution team, he praised the support staff, saying, “There are a lot of man-hours, woman hours, not only my prosecutors but the support staff. Secretaries, investigators put in a lot of time.”
“They did a wonderful job of staying the course. And fighting the good fight. And in the end, justice was served.”
Throughout the trial, prosecutors emphasized that Anderson killed Payne because she was going to leave him, and Stewart addressed that motive after Anderson was convicted.
“This was a domestic violence case. What it tells us is, is how bad domestic violence is if a uniformed police officer could be killed getting into her car in a domestic violence situation, just think what happens each and every day in our society.”
Mary Harried, who represented Frierson, expressed gratitude for his not guilty verdict on both charges.
“I feel that the jury made the right decision and I’m very grateful for that. We’re very sorry for the loss of Officer Payne.”
But Frierson didn’t go home with his family Tuesday night. In December 2019, he was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, after pleading guilty in August 2018.
Those charges stemmed from a Shreveport police investigation into drug deals at Frierson’s barbershop that resulted in his arrest in May 2018. Police found a loaded gun Frierson carried for protection while selling drugs at the shop, along with meth in his backpack and inside a false beverage container and a scale.