Separate trials for men accused in couple's murder
BATON ROUGE - Two men indicted in the killing of a Baton Rouge couple nearly three years ago will have separate trials.
Ernesto Alonso, 42, and Frank Garcia, 48, were arrested in connection to the kidnapping and murders of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier. In a court hearing Thursday, a judge decided to assign the men two separate trials with separate juries.
The Duplantiers were taken from their home on Highland Road in October 2015. Their bodies were later found inside their vehicle at a truck stop in Hammond. Authorities believe the killers strangled the victims after getting access to a safe in the home, then dumped their bodies and vehicle in Hammond and fled.
Alonso worked for the couple as a handyman and lived on the couple's property.
Investigators say cell phone locations show Garcia and Alonso in Baton Rouge at the time of the murders, and phone records show contact between the two suspects. They also found things stolen from the Duplantiers in Garcia's Florida home.
A new trial date has been set for March 18.