The first volleys were launched today in the second-degree murder trial of the man accused in a 2014 Bossier City double homicide.
Brandan Butler is accused in the deaths of Karyl Cox, 26, and Jacqueline Beadle, 24.
Jacqueline Beadle’s mother found the women just after 8 a.m. on May 11, 2014. She had gone to check her daughter, who she hadn’t heard from since the previous Friday when she dropped her daughter off for babysitting.
It was Mother’s Day.
Police were called, and the investigation began, ultimately leading police to Butler.
Butler, who was friends with the women, was questioned the day after the murders, and arrested after police found a small amount of marijuana on him. But he was soon released on a $500 bond. As the investigation continued, Butler was developed as the suspect in the murder, and a warrant was issued for his arrests.
He was found in Bogalusa, La., arrested on May 17, 2014, and brought back to Bossier where a Bossier Parish Grand Jury indicted him on two counts of first degree murder. Shortly after his indictment, Bossier District Attorney Schuyler Marvin announced his intention to seek the death penalty, and, until January everything was in place for a death penalty trial.
But, on Jan. 29, 2019, in a joint motion submitted by the defense and the state, the death penalty was taken off the table in exchange for Butler foregoing a jury trial to be tried by Bossier District Judge Mike Nerren.
Butler continues to maintain his innocence, as he has throughout the almost five years run up to his trial.
This morning’s proceedings began when defense attorneys submitted a motion to delay the trial, but prosecutors objected. Nerren sided with the prosecution, saying the defense had plenty of time to put their case together.
Today’s proceedings included swearing in witnesses and placing them under the Rule of Sequestration, exhibits were entered and opening arguments were given.
In today’s opening arguments, Bossier Assistant District Attorney Andrew Jacobs, claimed Butler’s fingerprints were found at the crime scene, linking him to the murders, while defense attorney Bruce Unangst II countered there is little evidence against Butler, and no murder weapons have been recovered.
Only one witness took the stand today, former Bossier City Police Detective Michael Hardesty, who investigated the crime.
The trial recessed around 5 p.m. and will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.