SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An expert in digital forensic science on Wednesday afternoon used GPS information extracted from cellphones to place two of the three men charged in the death of Shreveport Police Officer Chatéri Payne together in the location where she died, and the third nearby.
Tre’veon Anderson, 29, and Glen Frierson, 41, are charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Payne’s death.
A third defendant, 24-year-old Lawrence Pierre, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on April 4, and was immediately sentenced to life in prison. In exchange for the plea, the prosecution dropped the conspiracy charge against Pierre.
But though Pierre has not been seen in the courtroom since his guilty plea on the first day of the trial, throughout the last week-and-a-half, his presence – or lack thereof – has loomed larger than that of the defendants in the courtroom, and Wednesday was no exception.
The Shreveport Police Department retained the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Digital Forensics Lab and BPSO Capt. Shannon Mack to provide analysis of cellphone data from the phones of the victim, as well as the three suspects in the case, and it was information in those six cellphones (Anderson and Pierre each had two cellphones).
Mack downloaded the information on those cellphones from early December until a few days after Payne’s death, which included texts between Anderson and Payne, who lived together with their 2-year-old daughter at the 1633 Midway home where Payne was killed, along with text messages between the defendants that went beyond the day Payne died.
On the stand, Mack read some of the earlier text messages between Anderson and Payne, who were having relationship difficulties to the point that Payne was planning to leave Anderson and move to an apartment with their daughter.
But it was the text messages between the three defendants on the evening of Payne’s death that were most chilling, as Mack took GPS information from the three defendants’ phones that tracked their locations.
Using a software-generated map from a computer that was reflected up on the screen before the jury, Mack detailed in real-time where the three men – or anyway, their cellphones – were in the 30 minutes prior to Payne’s death.
Jurors watched as Pierre and Frierson joined around 8 p.m. on the night of Jan. 9, 2019, and traveled together toward Anderson and Payne’s home, separated just a tad, and then Pierre and Anderson were at the same location just before Payne was mortally wounded.
Then, Pierre separated from Anderson and joined Frierson, who was very close by and then were driving together toward the Highland neighborhood.
It was late Wednesday afternoon, before Mack, who was qualified by the court as an expert witness, took the witness stand, as prosecutors and defense attorneys spent several hours sparring over whether she should be allowed to testify, as her testimony would include the activity of Pierre as well as his two former co-defendants.
John Bokenfohr, Anderson’s attorney, objected to Mack’s testifying about anything related to Pierre, because, he said, without Pierre’s testimony, it would be hearsay, according to Louisiana’s code of evidence.
The only exception, he said, would be if the person in question was unavailable to testify, and Bokenfohr claimed Pierre is available.
But Caddo Assistant District Attorney Ron Stamps countered, saying the transcript of Pierre’s confession was enough to satisfy the law.
Both the prosecution and the defense issued subpoenas to Pierre on the day he pleaded guilty in court, but on the day Pierre said if his client was called to testify, he would plead the Fifth Amendment, which protects people against self-incrimination. But how that works for someone who has already pleaded guilty to the crime remains unclear.
Testimony will resume Thursday morning.