In the Courts: Accused double-killer’s fate in hands of trial judge

Local News

A Bossier Parish judge now holds in his hands the future of the man who is charged with 1st Degree Murder the deaths of two women found brutally murdered on Mother’s Day 2014 inside the home they shared in Bossier City. 

Twenty-sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Nerren will decide whether Brandan Butler, accused in the May 11, 2014 deaths of 26-year-old Karyl Cox and 24-year-old Jacqueline Beadle, is guilty of 1st Degree Murder. 

Friday, after a week of testimony that began Monday, March 11, closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense were made, and the state began its rebuttal by calling Tiffany Brinkman as a rebuttal witness.

Court was recessed until this morning, when the prosecution continued its rebuttal of the defense’s closing arguments with testimony from Michael Hardesty and Josh Woodard, after which the State rested. 

Nerren will announce his decision Wednesday. 

If Butler is convicted, he will receive mandatory sentences of life imprisonment without possibly of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. 

A Bossier Parish grand jury indicted Butler two counts of 1st Degree Murder on July 7, 2014, and three weeks later, Bossier Parish District Attorney Schuyler Marvin announced his plans to seek the death penalty. 

For the next four-and-a-half years the case made its way through the courts as a death-penalty issue. Then in January, the State and the Baton Rouge Capital Conflict Office that represents Butler filed a joint motion taking the death penalty off the table in exchange for Butler forgoing a jury trial in favor of a bench trial.

Bossier Parish Assistant District Attorneys Andrew Jacobs and Doug Stinson prosecuted Butler, while defense attorneys Bruce E. Unangst II and Caitlin with the Baton Rouge Capital Conflict Office represented him. 

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