SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Two alleged killers, charged with fatally stabbing an 82-year-old woman in her Anderson Island home, will not face the death penalty.
Instead, 25-year-old Roy Jemane Narcisse and 25-year-old Kiana Deranka Williams will stand trial for second-degree murder before a Caddo Parish jury in the murder of Kathleen Cates.
According to Shreveport police, Cates' daughter found her mother stabbed to death, lying next to her bed on September 26, 2017. Investigators say Narcisse and Williams fled to the San Angelo, Texas area, where they were eventually apprehended.
Following the couple's extradition back to Shreveport, a Caddo Parish grand jury indicted Williams for second-degree murder and Narcisse for first-degree murder.
If convicted on that charge, Narcisse faced life in prison without the possibility of parole — or even the death penalty.
Last week, the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office amended the charges against Narcisse to second-degree murder.
"We met with Kathleen Cates' family twice," said Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart. "Based on our recent conversations, and the family's desire for closure and an expedited trial, we decided a second-degree murder charge against Narcisse was the right way to proceed."
Stewart said his office explained the process and time involved in securing a conviction in a capital murder case, and the Cates family did not want to go through that ordeal.
"We are going to work to get this to trial and get them closure," Stewart said.
Witnesses saw Narcisse and Williams working in Cates yard the day she was killed.
According to police, Narcisse from Alexandria and Williams of Ville Platte were homeless at the time.
Investigators believe the couple stole Cates' gold Honda Accord, killing her when she would not tell Narcisse and Cates where to find the keys.
Cates, who lived alone, was stabbed multiple times in her neck, abdomen, and arms.
Court records show Williams' next court hearing is scheduled for March 28, 2018. Narcisse is due back in court on April 5, 2018.