Death penalty won't be pursued in murder of BR couple
BATON ROUGE - The District Attorney says the death penalty will not be pursued for two men accused in the killing of a Baton Rouge couple last year.
43-year-old Ernesto Alonso and 48-year-old Frank Garcia both pleaded not guilty in February to kidnapping and murder charges in connection with the deaths of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier. They were both indicted the same month and have remained in jail without bond.
Alonso worked for the couple as a handyman and lived on their property before beating the couple and forcing them to open their safe, which police said was filled with money. Investigators said Alonso then drove the couple to Hammond before strangling them and leaving their bodies in the Duplantiers' abandoned vehicle. Their bodies were found on Oct. 19 of last year.
Alonso was later located in south Florida. Detectives flew to Miami to interview him before Alonso was booked into jail as a fugitive from Louisiana. Items from the Duplantiers' safe were later located at the Garcia's Florida residence.
District Attorney Hillar Moore had said previously that Alonso could face the death penalty if convicted in the case, but he confirmed on Thursday that the decision to not pursue the death penalty for the men was made by the family.