Overturned: Case against convicted child killer moves forward

Brian Horn back in court for the first time since death sentence was overturned.

DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Convicted child killer Brian Horn was back in a DeSoto Parish courtroom Thursday. It’s the first time since his death sentence in the murder case of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom was overturned earlier this year by the Louisiana State Supreme Court.

Standing next to his temporarily appointed public defender, Horn did not speak during an hour long hearing to address procedural matters, including whether any future grand jury proceedings in the case should be recorded and the appointment of a certified capital defense attorney to represent Horn in the death penalty case.

DeSoto Parish Assistant District Attorney Lee Hall asked the court to immediately appoint Horn’s new counsel over the objection of the State Public Defender’s Board, which claims no qualified attorneys are currently available, due to a lack of funding and a shortage of certified death penalty counsel in the state.

According to newly filed court records, Horn is now third on the state’s list of death penalty defendants to be assigned counsel.

42nd Judicial Circuit Judge Amy Burford-McCartney declined to appoint Horn new representation during Thursday’s proceeding. A new hearing has been set for Friday, January 11 at 9:30 a.m., to take up the matter further.

Assistant DA Hall notified the court he would seek to subpoena State Public Defender Joe Dixon, and have him testify about the lack of adequately qualified death penalty defense attorneys in Louisiana in an effort to expedite Horn getting counsel.

Hall told the court as soon as Horn’s lawyer situation is resolved, he plans to move the court for a scheduling order and trial date.

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