With the trial less than six weeks away, a judge refused Tuesday to lower the $250,000 bail for the alleged triggerman in the 2007 killing of two LSU graduate students from India.
An attorney for Casey Jermaine Gathers argued last week there are too many inconsistencies in codefendant Devin Jamell Parker’s police statements for him to be trusted, but a prosecutor countered that Parker implicated Gathers and Michael Jermaine Lewis in the killings and told detectives details of the crimes that only someone present at the scene would have known.
The prosecutor, Steve Danielson, also said Parker told his then-jailed brother specific details of the crimes.
State District Judge Chip Moore, who is scheduled to preside over the second-degree murder trial of Gathers and Lewis scheduled Aug. 13, cited Parker’s alleged jailhouse statements in denying Gathers’ request for bail reduction.
“That’s pretty strong in my mind,” the judge said Tuesday.
Lewis’ bail also stands at $250,000.
“We’re disappointed, but understand how difficult matters of public safety can be in serious crimes,” Gathers’ attorney, Beau Brock, said after Moore issued his ruling. “However, we are amassing more information, even today, not just that Casey didn’t do it but that he is completely innocent.”
Parker, 23, of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in June 2011 to armed robbery and accessory charges in the case and agreed to testify in any future legal proceedings. He has not been sentenced.
Gathers, 24, and Lewis, 23, both of Baton Rouge, each are charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the slayings of Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31, on Dec. 13, 2007, at Allam’s Edward Gay apartment on the edge of LSU campus.
Danielson has said previously it was Parker’s brother, George, who led investigators to Devin Parker. George Parker was jailed in West Baton Rouge Parish at the time of the killings but was visited in jail by Devin Parker after the killings, Danielson said.
Jared Myers, a former LSU police detective who led the murder investigation, testified earlier this year that Devin Parker told his brother the middle and ring finger on Allam’s right hand were lacerated when Gathers used his foot to close the metal apartment door when Allam tried to escape. Myers said information about Allam’s hand was not made public.
Myers said Devin Parker also told detectives that Komma was tied up with a yellow or orange electrical cord, which is information that investigators never shared with the public.