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Trial in Baton Rouge couple's murder resumes after COVID delay

2 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Monday, February 14 2022 Feb 14, 2022 February 14, 2022 8:13 AM February 14, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A handyman charged with killing the couple that employed him in 2015 was back in court Monday after his trial was waylaid due to multiple attorneys involved in the case testing positive for COVID-19.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said two positive coronavirus cases brought the trial of Ernesto Alonso to a halt for a week. Prior to that, attorneys had spent days speaking with potential jurors for Alonso, who faces first-degree murder charges in the killings of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier.

Alonso worked on the Duplantier's property and allegedly helped his co-conspirator and cousin, Frank Garcia, carry out a plan to rob and kidnap the couple. Defense attorneys argue Garcia, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges last year, killed the couple and that Alonso only helped dispose of the bodies. 

Authorities found the victims bound and beaten to death inside their vehicle, which was abandoned at a Hammond truck stop.

Alonso faces a potential life sentence if convicted. 

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