New penalty hearing for man facing death in trooper slaying

Local News

(KLFY)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a Louisiana state trooper is getting a second chance to avoid a death sentence.

Kevin Daigle fatally shot Trooper Steven Vincent, 43, in 2015 in southwest Louisiana.

The jury that convicted Daigle in 2019 also unanimously called for a death sentence.

Now, according to the American Press in Lake Charles, the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s office says an agreement worked out amid numerous appeals will maintain the conviction but allow a new penalty hearing.

That is the result of the defense raising questions on whether one juror was qualified to serve. Failure to get a unanimous vote of 12 jurors for a death sentence would have resulted in Daigle being sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors say an intoxicated Daigle shot Vincent in the head after the trooper stopped to help Daigle alongside a road in the Hayes area in August 2015.

During the original penalty phase, defense attorney Kyla Romanach told jurors the death penalty should be a last resort. “Is he (Daigle) really the worst of the worst?”

Prosecutors said he “chose the bottle” and had specific intent to kill a police officer.

Prosecutor Jacob Johnson told jurors a rejection of the death penalty would have been another blow to Vincent’s family. “They lost the glue that held them together,” said Johnson.

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