SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The joint trial of two men accused in the murder of off-duty Shreveport police officer Chatéri Payne has been full of surprises since it began on April 4, and Tuesday was no exception.
The last witness to testify for the state was a DNA analyst who testified the major DNA found on the Glock 23 40-caliber gun that killed Payne did not belong to 29-year-old Tre’veon Anderson or 41-year-old Glenn Frierson, both of whom are charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in Payne’s January 2019 death.
Instead, Kari Dicken, forensic DNA scientist and analyst at the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab in Shreveport, testified the major DNA on the murder weapon belonged to 26-year-old Dunnivick Hicks, whose apartment was where the murder weapon was recovered a few days after Payne’s death.
Hicks, who testified in the trial Monday afternoon, is the first cousin of 24-year-old Lawrence Pierre, who originally was charged with Anderson and Frierson, but on April 4 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. In exchange, the Caddo District Attorney’s Office dismissed the conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Dicken also testified that an analysis of the magazine found in the truck of Pierre’s car found the major DNA belonged to Pierre.
When Hicks testified as a state’s witness on Monday, he said he always handled Pierre’s gun when they were together, which, he said was, “if not every day, every other day” – before and after Payne’s murder, explaining that he likes guns.
However, that led to a bit of a dustup between prosecutors and Anderson’s attorney John Bokenfohr after Hicks denied knowing Payne’s weapon was hidden in his house, nor that he knew it was the murder weapon, which Bokenfohr disputed.
In earlier testimony on Tuesday, SPD Cpl. Adam McEntee with the Violent Crimes Unit testified that he went to Ochsner LSU Heath Hospital where Payne was rushed as soon as she was found, and he and other officers stayed with Payne after Caddo Parish Coroner Todd Thoma told them Payne would not survive her head wound.
He said neither he nor the other officers there would let a fellow officer die alone, and they stayed with her until she died.
After she died, however, McEntee and other investigators went to work, as once a crime victim dies, their body becomes a crime scene that must be investigated. He said they took a number of pictures and measurements of Payne’s wounds before releasing her body to be taken to the morgue in the basement at Ochsner LSU Health Hospital.
McEntee also testified regarding data harvested from Anderson’s cellphone after his arrest, including text messages between Anderson and Payne and others, including Pierre, as the day of Payne’s death approached.
In addition, he testified that on January 5, Anderson did several Google searches asking such questions as, “Can you die from gunshot to a leg?” “Car ran over my leg,” “Is there a main artery in your shoulder?” as well as information about shooting insurance, asking if Aflac pays for gunshots, and about Aflac supplemental insurance.
Also testifying Tuesday was a police officer who met Payne and Anderson once at a Halloween Trunk or Treat event at the Police Academy and worked with Payne at the 2018 Independence Bowl, where she confided she was leaving Anderson and moving to an apartment after the first of the year.
Testimony is slated to resume at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.