Trial set to begin for step-daughter in Luttrell murder-for-hire - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Jury selection begins in trial for step-daughter in Luttrell murder-for-hire

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Linda Kate Passaniti, 58 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) Linda Kate Passaniti, 58 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
KSLA News 12 interviewed Linda Kate Passaniti in June of 2010, shortly after her mother's arrest in her step-father's murder. KSLA News 12 interviewed Linda Kate Passaniti in June of 2010, shortly after her mother's arrest in her step-father's murder.
Passaniti is the daughter of Loretta Luttrell, who was previously charged in the case but ultimately found incompetent to stand trial. Passaniti is the daughter of Loretta Luttrell, who was previously charged in the case but ultimately found incompetent to stand trial.
Erick Dewayne Crain, now 31, pleaded guilty to 1st degree murder. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office) Erick Dewayne Crain, now 31, pleaded guilty to 1st degree murder. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Tina Vanmoerkeque, now 47, pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence in January 2012. Tina Vanmoerkeque, now 47, pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence in January 2012.
CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Jury selection is under way in the second-degree murder trial of Linda Kate Passaniti, charged in connection with the murder-for-hire of her mother's husband.

Passaniti was arrested in March in connection with a murder-for-hire plot that resulted in Luttrell's death in July 2010. A Caddo Parish Grand Jury indicted Passaniti with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and three counts of forgery. Passaniti is the daughter of Loretta Luttrell, who was previously charged in the case. Luttrell was later found incompetent to stand trial.

In an interview with KSLA News 12 in July 2010, before her indictment, Passaniti repeatedly insisted that her mother would never have had anything to do with her husband's death, describing her as emotional at her husband's funeral. "When they handed her the flag, she cried. She didn't get to see him. Never got to say goodbye to him."

She also indicated that her mother did not know what she was thinking all of the time and that she could not have planned the killing.

Tina Vanmoerkeque and Erick Crain were also charged as co-conspirators in the death of Ernest Luttrell. Both have since pled guilty to murder, received life sentences and agreed to testify against all remaining defendants.

Passaniti remains in custody at the Caddo Correctional Center.

According to court documents, she will be represented by Bossier City attorney Larrion Hillman.

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