SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) Accused cop killer Grover Cannon was in court today for the first time since the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the jury in his first-degree murder trial would still have to come from Baton Rouge.
Cannon is charged with 1st degree murder in the August 5, 2015, death of Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley.
A change of venue for jury selection was ordered by Judge Ramona Emanuel after pretrial publicity halted Cannon’s trial on the day it was set to begin in January.
That day, 1,000 jurors who were summoned, as well as witnesses subpoenaed for the trial, were sent home.
Both the state and the defense submitted possible venues for jury selection – the state suggested Monroe or Alexandria, while the defense submitted Lafayette, Baton Rouge or New Orleans.
Baton Rouge was selected, more than 450 prospective jurors were summoned for March 25, and jury selection commenced.
But the defense found a flaw in the way Baton Rouge selected their jurors, and the Louisiana Supreme Court scrapped the trial.
But not before Caddo Parish taxpayers forked out more than $90,000 for hotels, meals, transportation and office expenses for the court, prosecutors, security personnel and the clerk’s office to be in Baton Rouge.
The price tag alone for paying more than 450 Baton Rouge jurors came to $23,806.
Back in Caddo, presiding Judge Ramona Emanuel granted a state’s motion to bring jury selection back home to Caddo Parish.
The defense appealed Emanuel’s decision to the state Supreme Court, and they overruled it, sending jury selection back to Baton Rouge for a second time.
Today, Cannon’s defense team submitted a motion – DM-80 – claiming the defense claims the State would like to start the trial in late July, but the defense can’t get their experts together before Nov. 12 due to previous commitments.
If the judge approves a November trial date, it will mean jury selection will be going on during the Thanksgiving holiday, and the trail could stretch all the way to Christmas. After the jurors are selected in Baton Rouge, they will be transported back to Caddo Parish, where they will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, which is expected to take from two-to-three weeks.
The judge will rule on the defense’s motion, as well as any others that may be submitted, on July 22.