CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Jurors in the murder-for-hire trial of Linda Kate Passaniti heard Thursday from her cell mate, who claims Passaniti made a confession and planned to pin it on her mother Loretta and aunt Rosie.
Lawanda Daughtry, 31, is currently being held on a laundry list of charges ranging from possession of marijuana to speeding and issuing worthless checks.
When asked by Assistant District Attorney Laura Fulco why she was fearful of Passaniti, Daughtry replied, "Because I don't want to put my life in danger, and I know what she's capable of. I'm concerned for myself and my family."
Passaniti, 58, was arrested in March in connection with a murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of her 73-year-old stepfather Ernest Luttrell 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.
Two alleged co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the murder, and agreed to testify against Passaniti. Erick Crain took the stand on Monday, telling prosecutors he was promised $1,000 to kill Luttrell and make it look like a robbery. Armed with a .44-caliber weapon, Crain says he went into the Luttrell home to where he had been told Luttrell would be sleeping.
According to Daughtry, "She wanted them to shoot him at least twice in the head make sure he was dead."
Prosecutors are painting Passaniti as the mastermind of the murder-for-hire plot, in a bid to gain access to his money.
Attorney Don Wier Jr. was the final witness to take the stand for the prosecution on Thursday afternoon. Wier was appointed by a judge following Luttrell's death to administer his will.
The State is expected to rest it's case on Friday.
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