Judge grants David Burns’ motion for speedy trial, sets new Oct. 24 trial date

David Burns has been granted a motion for a speedy trial, with a new trial date set for the end of the 120-day trial date period.
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 3:25 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 3:30 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - David Burns, 46, of Boyce, was granted a motion for a speedy trial at a pretrial conference on Thursday, July 21, with Judge Mary Doggett, with a new trial date set for the end of the 120-day trial date period.

Burns is charged with second-degree murder for the October 2004 death of 19-year-old Courtney Coco of Alexandria.

Burns’ defense attorney Christopher LaCour argued for Judge Doggett to grant his motion for a speedy trial, filed on June 29. LaCour claimed he found out on social media that prosecutor Hugo Holland had asked for a continuance on the case due to a scheduling conflict with the trial of Ebony Sonnier, also set for Aug. 8.

Holland is the prosecutor on the Sonnier case, which Judge Doggett is presiding over as well. However, according to the judge, the State was working on expanding the jury pool and bringing on a new judge to resolve the issue.

Although Holland was not in court on Thursday, LaCour brought up a conference meeting with Judge Doggett and the prosecution from May, where Holland had promised to not file for a continuance if LaCour did not file a motion for a speedy trial.

Prosecutor Brian Mosley introduced an email exchange between LaCour and Holland, indicating the conflict, which LaCour did not reply to. However, LaCour said he ignored the email because Holland had already made a verbal promise to not file for a continuance. LaCour said that in this profession, all you have is your word, and he “won’t make that mistake with Mr. Holland ever again.”

Judge Doggett granted the defense’s motion, which must take place within 120 days of the motion, but despite the defense’s “vehement objection,” Doggett also granted a new Oct. 24 trial date.

LaCour noted he felt like the prosecution’s actions were an “abuse of power.” Mosley responded by saying there are “too many criminals and not enough dates,” and Judge Doggett acknowledged that “people are always waiting here.”

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