The accused killer of a Shreveport police officer will have to wait another three months for his day in court…just two weeks short of the third anniversary of the crime.
Today, Caddo Parish District Judge Ramona Emanuel approved a defense motion to move the date for the kickoff of the first-degree murder trial of Grover Cannon from next month to July. Cannon is charged in the shooting death of SPD Officer Thomas LaValley.
LaValley was killed when he responded to a suspicious person call in the 3500 block of Del Reo Street at around 9:15 p.m. on August 5, 2015, in Shreveport.
According to then Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw, LaValley confronted Cannon, who fired multiple shots, killing the young officer.
Cannon was the subject of an 18-hour manhunt by multiple agencies that ultimately led to his arrest. His first court appearance was on August 8, 2015, at which time he said he could not afford to hire an attorney, and was told one would be appointed.
A Caddo Parish grand jury handed down an indictment for first-degree murder on Oct. 15, 2015; he was arraigned on Oct. 27, 2015, when he entered a not guilty plea.
Today’s motion to delay the trial filed by Cannon and his attorneys was the third submitted, and the third to be approved by Emanuel. The prosecution opposed all of them.
Cannon’s original trial date of Feb, 6, 2017, was set by Emanuel on April 27, 2016, a full 10 months in advance, and was agreed upon by both Cannon’s defense team and the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office.
However, the attorneys from Capital Defense Project of Southwest Louisiana who are representing Cannon, went to court on Nov. 29, 2016 and asked for more time. The trial date was delayed seven months, and placed on Emanuel’s July 24, 2017 docket.
But, again that wasn’t enough time for the defense to pull it all together, so they went back to court on May 23, 2017 and convinced the judge to move the trial to April 16, 2018.
Today, the defense again went back to the judge and asked for another delay, which she once again agreed to. The trial is now on the docket for July 23, 2018.
Will Grover Cannon actually stand trial in July? Hard to know – capital defense attorneys for Brian Horn, who murdered 12-year-old Justin Bloxum in DeSoto Parish March 2010, managed to delay Horn’s trial for four years. But he was still convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to the death penalty.