November 25, 2017 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Sovereign Citizen Movement

ST. JOHNS PARISH, [LA]--A judge has decided to move the most high-profile murder trial in recent St. John the Baptist Parish history to St. Martin Parish. Judge J. Sterling Snowdy, of 40th Judicial District Court, announced the move last month for the scheduled Feb. 15 trial of Brian Smith, who faces the death penalty if convicted. He is accused of having a role in a 2012 shootout that killed two Sheriff’s Office deputies. Snowdy had approved a change of venue in March, calling the St. John Courthouse “the heart of controversy” for the defendant. The judge chose St. Martin Parish after a visit to the area. Snowdy’s ruling was in response to a motion filed in 2014 by Richard Bourke, the director of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center and Smith’s attorney. Bourke said his client could not get a fair trial in St. John Parish because of the “level of community engagement” in response to the shootings. He cited “the understandable and extensive support for those killed and injured and their families,” noting that the victims also worked for the district attorney in local drug court. Deputies Jeremy Triche and Brandon Nielsen were killed during the Aug. 16, 2012, shootout, which happened before dawn at the Scenic Riverview Mobile Home Park in LaPlace. Deputies Michael Boyington and Jason Triche were left with permanent disabilities. Seven people were initially charged. Smith and another defendant, Kyle Joekel, are the only two facing the death penalty. They were indicted in 2012 on first-degree murder and attempted murder charges. View More>>

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