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Murder trial put on hold after attorneys test positive for COVID-19

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BATON ROUGE - It's been nearly seven years since the murder of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier took place at their home on Highland road.

The trial for their handyman, Ernesto Alonso, facing first-degree murder charges, got underway last week. Now, it's put on hold once again.

District Attorney Hillar Moore says two attorneys tested positive for COVID-19, now pushing the trial back to Feb. 14.

This is after taking three days for a jury selection.

Alonso is accused of playing a part in the couple's murders, who were found bound, beaten, and killed.

Their bodies were found inside their pick-up truck, dumped at a Hammond truck stop.

The defense argued that Alonso only helped his cousin, Frank Garcia, hide their bodies.

Garcia took a plea deal back in September 2021 and was sentenced to 30 years for manslaughter.

Investigators believe Alonso carried out the gruesome murders.

He was found days later at Garcia's home in Florida along with stolen items from the Duplantier's home, including thousands of dollars in cash, believed to have come from a large safe belonging to the couple.

If convicted, Alonso could be sentenced to life in prison.


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