SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Closing arguments in the second-degree murder trial of the two men charged in the shooting in January 2019 shooting death of a Shreveport Police Officer will begin Wednesday morning in Caddo District Court.
Co-defendants, 29-year-old Tre’veon Anderson and 41-year-old Glenn Frierson are charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the death of SPD Officer Chatéri Payne as she prepared to leave home for her shift on the evening of Jan. 9, 2019.
A third defendant, 24-year-old Lawrence Pierre, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison on April 4, the day the trial began.
On Tuesday, SPD Sgt. Jeff Brown, a violent crimes detective testified for the state, but it was when the prosecution turned over Brown for cross-examination that things got lively.
Early on, it was established that a Glock 23 40-caliber gun owned by Pierre was used to kill killed Chatéri Payne. But on April 12, Kari Dicken, forensic DNA scientist and analyst at the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab in Shreveport, revealed that the major DNA on the gun that killed Chatéri Payne did not belong to either defendant or Pierre, but instead belonged to Dunnivick Hicks.
After Pierre was arrested, he told police the murder weapon was hidden in the apartment of his cousin, Dunnivick Hicks, who at the time lived in an apartment in the 8900 block of Pines Road.
Based on Pierre’s information, police obtained a search warrant, went to Hicks’ home, and found the weapon hidden behind an air cooler and hot water heater in a closet in the kitchen.
That gun, along with DNA samples from Pierre, Anderson, Frierson, and Payne, as well as Hicks, was sent to the crime lab for analysis. That analysis revealed what Dicken called the “major DNA” belonged not to the defendants, but to Hicks.
Brown, who interviewed Hicks, said Hicks denied knowing that the gun was hidden in his house.
Prosecutor Brittany Green asked Brown if anyone asked Hicks if he knew Lawrence Pierre had a gun, and Brown said no, indicating they already had their suspects, pointing to a text between Frierson and Pierre just after Payne’s death indicating that Frierson was “one block over.”
Bokenfohr, however, was not satisfied, and in his cross-examination asked Brown why, if police seized cellphones from Anderson, Frierson and Pierre, they didn’t seize Hicks’ cellphone. Brown replied they didn’t see any reason to, and that his number didn’t pop up during the half-hour or so around the time of the murder.
But Bokenfohr wasn’t satisfied. He reminded the court that in her testimony, Capt. Shannon Mack, the digital forensic expert who examined the cellphones, compiling around 700 pages of data and condensing it into an approximately 150-page report, told the Court that she could only analyze the cellphone numbers she was given.
Referring to Hicks’ DNA on the murder weapon, Bokenfohr asked, “Would that indicate someone other than Lawrence Pierre or Tre’vion Anderson shot Payne?”
Hicks, who testified last week, told jurors that Pierre visited him, “if not every day, every other day,” and always took his gun out and he and Pierre “played with it” or the couch, or in the cupholder of Pierre’s car.
Bokenfohr aske Brown, “How did we just find in the last week or two that Mr. Hicks handled the firearm after the murder?”
Brown replied that he didn’t know. Bokenfohr persisted, asking if it was in any police reports that Hicks handled the gun two or three days after the murder, and Brown didn’t know. Bokenfohr then asked Brown when he knew it was Hicks’ DNA on the weapon, and Brown said, “the crime lab is slow.”
Bokenfohr continued to hammer away, amid multiple objections by the prosecution.
Following Brown’s testimony, the prosecution rested its case, at which time the defense took over.
After calling a deputy from the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office to explain that Anderson had taken the initial test to be an officer in 2018 and failed, Bokenfohr called DNA analyst Kari Dicken to testify, this time for the defense.
Once again, Bokenfohr asked Dicken the results of the testing, and once again she said the DNA on the murder weapon was predominantly Hicks.’
Dicken explained that although she was given DNA swabs from the defendants and Hicks, only Hicks was positively identified on the murder weapon. She said she could not make a conclusion as to whether the defendants’ DNA was present on the weapon, but that Hicks’ match was “one in 261 trillion.”
Following Dicken’s testimony, Bokenfohr rested Anderson’s case, and Frierson’s attorney, Mary Harried, called Crystal Frierson, Glenn Frierson’s wife, to testify.
Crystal Frierson testified that when she got home from work on Jan. 9. 2019, her husband was at home cooking dinner and Pierre was on the living room floor. Pierre’s car was parked at the side of their house, she said.
Harried asked Crystal Frierson if she knew Tre’veon Anderson, and she said she did not. Harried then asked Frierson’s wife about the police obtaining a warrant and searching their home.
She said they did, and took a phone and tablet. Harried asked if the house had video surveillance, and Crystal Frierson said, “yes, they destroyed it.”
That line of questioning was not pursued further, so it was unclear what Crystal Frierson was alluding to.
The final witness called was Frierson’s teenage daughter, who testified she was home the night of Jan. 9, 2019, and her father was home. Harried asked her if she knew Pierre, and she said yes, he is her father’s cousin.
Harried then asked her if she knew Tre’veon Anderson, and she said no. Then Harried asked if she had ever heard the name Tre’veon Anderson, and the girl said, “No ma’am.”
The defense rested.