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Five men accused in savage triple killing appear in court

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BATON ROUGE - Five men accused in the murder of an Ascension Parish couple and their son appeared in court today for a motions hearing.

It was delayed as both sides are given an opportunity to look at legal documents surrounding the case.

The prosecutors requested 60 days to look at the motions filed by the defense, and the defense was given an additional 30 days to respond.

Michael Aikens, Devon James, Bernard James, Rolondo Stewart and Travis Moore pleaded not guilty to the murders earlier this year. Irwin and Shirley Marchand, and her son Doug Dooley, had their throats slashed during a botched robbery in March.

Defense lawyers would not say whether they would file a motion to sever which would ultimately give each person their own trial. Right now, they show up in groups whenever this case appears on the docket.

"Logistically, it's always easier to work by yourself then to work with a bunch of other people in anything you do," Kerry Cuccia with the Capital Defense Project said.

He believes there won't be any issues as the case progresses.

"It's a terribly tragic situation," Cuccia said. "One thing I can tell you is we will proceed in a professional, responsible courteous manner and move this case forward."

Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty. Formal paperwork would have to be filed, and that has not happened yet.



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