Judge: DA can still prosecute suspect in retaliation murder case
BATON ROUGE - A judge has denied an attempt by the defense team of Jace Crehan to block the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office from prosecuting his client.
The defense contends that since a prosecutor testified in grand jury proceedings indicting Crehan on charges he killed the man who sexually abused his girlfriend, the prosecutor has a conflict of interest. The prosecutor could be the "sword and shield," defense attorneys said in court Friday.
But, a judge ruled against the motion.
Both Crehan and his girlfriend, Brittany Monk, face charges for the murder of Robert Noce. Noce was found dead, stuffed in a 55-gallon plastic drum outside of his home in July 2015. Monk was the victim of sexual advances by Noce as a minor. The district attorney's office handled prosecution in the sex crimes case against Noce where he was offered and took a plea deal. For a no contest plea, Noce received a suspended 10-year sentence and was placed on five years of supervised probation. As per policy, Monk was made aware of the agreement since she was the victim in the abuse case.
About the situation involving the decision about whether or not it should recuse itself, the DA's office said "victims, turn into defendants and then back into victims, it is certainly what happens in Baton Rouge."
Crehan confessed to the killing Noce during questioning with deputies. Noce was found to be strangled and stabbed multiple times.
Crehan's legal team said in a statement to WBRZ, "we respectfully disagree with the courts ruling and will evaluate whether a writ is appropriate. We are focusing our efforts on defending Jace. Let's not mince words, they want to put Jace away for life and we just don't feel that is justice in this case."
An update on the case is expected next month.