La. Supreme Court halts murder trial of man accused of killing Shreveport officer after jury pool issue

La. Supreme Court halts murder trial of man accused of killing Shreveport officer after jury pool issue

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

UPDATE - APRIL 11

The Louisiana Supreme Court has issued a stay of all proceedings in Grover Cannon’s murder trial until they say otherwise. This comes after the defense claimed the jury pool included no one under the age of 26, which the 19th Judicial District Court admitted was a computer glitch that has been going on since 2011.

A district judge previously ruled that the jury pool issue would not affect the trial and that the case could proceed.

The defense now plans to appeal that decision. The trial cannot move forward until the court of appeals reviews and the supreme court review the case.

The supreme court did not give a reason for the stay order.

Click here to read the full motion.

ORIGINAL STORY

A district court judge ruled Thursday that the jury pool in a capital murder trial can remain in place despite a glitch that prevented a certain age group from taking part.

Defense lawyers argued during a hearing Wednesday that the 566-person jury pool should be dismissed and a new group chosen because people aged 18 to 25 were omitted from the current pool of jurors.

Administrators at the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, where jury selection is taking place, admit a computer glitch has prevented anyone under the age of 26 from being chosen to report for jury duty in East Baton Rouge parish since the year 2011.

Grover Cannon, 29 (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Grover Cannon, 29 (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)

The issue was discovered during jury selection in the trial of Grover Cannon who is accused of killing Shreveport, LA officer Thomas LaValley.

Although the killing happened in Shreveport, jury selection is taking place in Baton Rouge. Once a jury is chosen, jurors will be sequestered and taken to Shreveport for the trial.

The memorial was paid for through a t-shirt fundraiser started by two of LaValley’s closest friends, Chris Redford and Casey Habich. (Source: Troy Washington)
The memorial was paid for through a t-shirt fundraiser started by two of LaValley’s closest friends, Chris Redford and Casey Habich. (Source: Troy Washington)

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Cannon’s lawyers, who discovered the jury pool problem, asked the presiding judge to take action.

The Louisiana Supreme Court last weekend ordered the judge, Emmanuel, to hold a hearing on the matter.

The defense team argued in court Wednesday that people age 18 to 25 are unique and often hold different ways of thinking than those older than them.

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