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Accused killers still awaiting trial in Baton Rouge couple's 2015 murder

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BATON ROUGE - Another court date and another delay in the double murder trial for a couple killed more than four years ago.

 Denis and Suzanne Duplantier were taken from their home on Highland Road in 2015. Their bodies were later found inside their vehicle at a truck stop in Hammond.  Ernesto Alonso and Frank Garcia were arrested in the kidnapping and murders of the Duplaties in October of 2015.

Authorities believe the killers strangled the victims after getting access to a safe in their home then dumped their bodies and vehicle in Hammond.

Alonso worked for the couple as a handyman and lived on the couple's property.

A status hearing was held Monday, but no action was taken because a change of venue in the case is still undecided in the first circuit court of appeals.  

Another status hearing will be held Feb. 27, and the trial is expected to begin in March. But the change of venue must be decided before any court proceeding can move forward.

Investigators say cell phone data shows 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.


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