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Star witness testifies against cousin in murder trial

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BATON ROUGE- Chilling testimony about how two victims died came from the prosecution's star witness today in District Court.

Farrenton Joshua said his cousin Leandre Bell shot Erika Turner and Christopher Domingue two years ago in shootings months apart.  Domingue is the brother-in-law of Former Police Chief Jeff LeDuff. Joshua told jurors he was there as Bell shot Turner after a robbery.

"She was scared," Joshua testified. "Held her hands up and said please don't shoot me.  The first gunshot I heard she fell.  After she fell he ran back to the car and I pulled off."

Joshua said his cousin told him he (Bell) shot Domingue, then went through his pockets and took a cell phone.

"A man on a bicycle was saying 'where's the crack at,'" Joshua testified. "(he) shot him, he fell off his bike, went through his pockets. He kept shooting because he was still moving."

Defense Lawyer Bo Rougeou tried to tear the case apart, saying the gun used in the murder was Joshua's.  However, Joshua vehemently denied that.

For his testimony, prosecutors cut Joshua a deal.  He plead guilty to accessory to murder charges in exchange for a ten year sentence.

All sides agree it's tragic for everyone involved.

"It's one that pretty much puts a face on crime for all of us that the Chief of Police's relative was killed, so it hits close to home and makes it real and personal," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

"It is a sad one," Rougeou said.  "My condolences go out to both families. I talked to the Chief.  We hugged each other.  We've known each other for years and it's sad to see him in these circumstances."

If convicted, Bell faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.


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