A forensic psychologist testified Thursday that a Baton Rouge teen charged with murder in a deadly home invasion last year faces long odds of being rehabilitated in a state juvenile facility.
The psychologist, Dr. Jesse Lambert, concluded that Darien Bailey, 15, is competent to stand trial and can appreciate the potential consequences of committing a crime. He determined the youth suffers from a severe conduct disorder, has a history of aggression and poses a “high risk of violence.”
The testimony came during an unusual court proceeding in which prosecutors asked Judge Pamela Taylor Johnson of East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court to allow Bailey to be tried as an adult.
The hearing, which included two days of testimony, was required because Bailey was 14 when he was booked in the fatal shooting and attempted robbery of Derrick Marioneaux, 34.
Bailey could be held until he turns 21 if convicted as a juvenile. If tried and convicted as an adult, he could be imprisoned until he turns 31, prosecutor Curtis Nelson Jr. said.
“It all boils down to public safety,” Nelson said. “It’s really rare to have someone 14 to commit this type of crime.”
Defense attorney Jack Harrison has raised questions about the evidence in the case and said the proceedings should stay in Juvenile Court. “I feel comfortable that Juvenile Court is going to be a good forum for hearing all the evidence in this case,” he said.
Johnson did not rule after a day of testimony Thursday but asked the attorneys to submit written arguments to her by Monday morning. Bailey is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in Juvenile Court, but that date is subject to change even if the case is not transferred to state District Court, the attorneys said.
Prosecutors allege Bailey participated in a home invasion homicide that happened at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6. Bailey is charged with his older brother, Benjamin Bailey, 20, and a cousin, Juan Herbert, 21, with breaking into Marioneaux’s home on Wyandotte Street and opening fire.
A grand jury indicted Benjamin Bailey and Herbert last week on second-degree murder charges, according to court records.
Darien Bailey’s juvenile proceedings have prompted prosecutors to reveal new details of the case to establish probable cause for a transfer to adult court. Baton Rouge police Detective Steven Z. Woodring has testified that surveillance cameras at Acadian Superette, a grocery store near Marioneaux’s home, captured footage of the suspects around the time of the shooting.
The suspects kicked in the front door and outer screen door before shooting Marioneaux several times, Woodring said.
A hail of gunfire left bullet holes in walls and a freezer, according to crime-scene photographs displayed in court.
The victim’s wife and daughter were inside the home but were not injured, the detective has said.
Three firearms — a sawed-off shotgun, an assault-style rifle resembling an AK-47 and a handgun — were used in the home invasion, according to prosecutors.
Authorities have said Darien Bailey inadvertently shot Herbert during the home invasion. The suspects were arrested after taking him to the hospital.
Herbert told detectives at the hospital that he and his cousins were present during the home invasion but that Marioneaux was shot by another man, an account Woodring said he “did not buy.”
On Thursday, a Louisiana State Police Crime Lab scientist testified that Benjamin Bailey’s DNA profile could not be excluded from a mixture of DNA found on a ski mask and a black baseball cap recovered near the scene of the crime. The testing tied Darien Bailey to another ski mask recovered, but Harrison noted that other DNA from other unidentified people was also found on the masks.
In order to try Darien Bailey as an adult, state law requires the prosecution offer “clear and convincing proof” that there is “no substantial opportunity for the child’s rehabilitation through facilities available to the court.”
Lambert, the forensic psychologist, told Johnson he was concerned about the “intensity” of Darien Bailey’s symptoms, and that the teen would require years of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication management and “empathy training.”
Lambert said the boy would be “unlikely” to benefit from six years of treatment if tried and convicted as a juvenile.
Darien Bailey’s mother said her son began having problems after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle a couple of years ago.
Lambert acknowledged the boy had experienced head and spine injuries, but he determined the crash had not contributed to his behavioral problems.
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