Closing arguments set today in murder trial
Fri, 2013-10-18 13:29 Harlan Kirgan
By PRESTON GILL
Jurors intently watched two interviews Thursday afternoon that Franklin police recorded with then 15-year-old Jamichael Hudson, questioning him with his mother present, about his knowledge of a Feb. 3, 2010, double murder for which he is on trial here at 16th Judicial Court.
Closing arguments were scheduled this afternoon.
Hudson’s story and demeanor changed in the second interview, conducted March 1, 2010. Inconsistencies in his statements were pointed out and he eventually admitted he was on the front porch of the victims’ house on the evening of the murder.
Defense attorney Edward Moses Jr. pointed out to the jury that Hudson did not admit to taking part in, or observing, a robbery or a killing.
Franklin police first interviewed Hudson a week after the brutal murder at 6 Darce Lane of Audrey Picard, 75, and Larry Guillory, 49. Hudson claimed in that Feb. 10 interview that he went to visit his cousin, Randy Joseph, on the evening of the murders.
Hudson said he left Joseph around 8 p.m. to go home but on the way home he stopped to visit a girl named Kianna. Hudson did not know the girl’s last name nor the address of her trailer. Hudson said he did not see anybody in the area and he did not go to the Darce Lane residence that night. Hudson said he may have been at the residence with Joseph a month earlier to check on Guillory, who was Joseph’s uncle.
Hudson’s mother, Ruby Johnson, said she found her son home on Feb. 3, when she got in from working about 9:15 or 9:20 p.m.
Hudson, now 18 and being tried as an adult, has remained stoic though the first two days of the trial, but briefly showed measured emotion while the second interview played.
His mother died less than six weeks ago. He shook his head at one point several times while watching her speak.
In the March 1, 2010, interview he said he visited a girl named Destiny. He said he and Joseph were walking along the street and saw two other guys. He repeated he went home around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
Several times he insisted he had not spoken to either Joseph or Johnson since the murders
Investigators said Hudson had been recorded in a three-way call with Joseph, which Joseph placed to Brook Johnson on a recorded line from the police department. Joseph was in jail on an unrelated charge at the time.
In the call, Joseph told Hudson that police were suspecting their involvement in the murder and would be looking for him.
Hudson eventually admitted he went to the house on Darce Lane that night while Joseph checked on Guillory. Hudson said he was on the porch. Joseph called him back later that night and said he had gone back to check on his uncle and found him dead, Hudson said.
Bethany Harris, an expert DNA analyst from Acadiana Crime Lab, said Hudson was not ruled out as a contributor to DNA found in one of Guillory’s pockets. But it could not be stated with reasonable scientific certainty it was Hudson’s DNA, she said.
Saleme pointed out that the testing showed a 99.997 percent probability that the DNA belonged to Hudson.
Moses emphasized the results did not point to his client as the only possible person that DNA could belong to.
When Hudson changed his story with police investigators, Moses said the change occurred after he spoke to Joseph.
Joseph pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in January 2012 and was given two life sentences.
Prior to sentencing Assistant District Attorney Vincent Borne said Joseph admitted going to his uncle’s house for a robbery but claimed Hudson struck both victims multiple times with a long blunt object after which Joseph located Picard’s cigarette wallet with about $300 on the couch.
Before Joseph’s plea his public defender said that Joseph had refused to plea to a lesser charge in exchange for testifying against Hudson.
Joseph was brought to the trial this morning.
Moses said he is considering presenting witnesses when the state rests its case, but Hudson will not take the stand.