Ahead of trial, DA’s Office gets evidence of prior crimes introduced in Brandon Francisco case
Trial set for Aug. 22 in the Rapides Parish Courthouse
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Brandon Francisco, 36, of Mansura, who is a person-of-interest in the disappearance of Ella Goodie of Scott, was back in court in Rapides Parish on Wednesday, August 10, ahead of a trial scheduled in two weeks in a different case on a charge of attempted second-degree murder.
In addition to the attempted second-degree murder charge, Francisco is charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He’s accused of a Christmas Eve 2018 shooting near Cheneyville, which court documents state involved an alleged outstanding drug debt.
On Wednesday, the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office was able to successfully submit into evidence two statements that Francisco gave to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 28, 2018, and Jan. 16, 2019, about the shooting. His attorney, Tiffany Sanders, argued that they should not be allowed in because, while he was read his Miranda rights and said he understood them, a companion form where he signed them away did not have two witness signatures.
Sanders believed the signatures were needed to make the document “valid and enforceable.”
Det. Eddie Andrus, who conducted the interviews, said he didn’t have anyone to witness it.
Judge Greg Beard allowed the statements in because the rights were still read and there was a transcript of the interviews with Francisco, as well as him verbally saying he understood his rights, to prove it.
The district attorney’s office was also able to submit into evidence a prior conviction for attempted second-degree murder that happened in Avoyelles Parish. In that case, Francisco pleaded guilty to stabbing his ex-girlfriend in 2007 upwards of 20 times.
The victim, who shared a child with Francisco and was present in the apartment the day she was stabbed, was asleep when she was awoken by the attack.
Capt. Michael Bell with the Marksville Police Department said the victim’s brother found her in the bathroom of the apartment, and she had stab wounds to her chest, arms, face, and upper torso.
Sanders believed the 2007 case shouldn’t be allowed to be discussed during the upcoming trial because it was a domestic violence incident and the case at hand involved an alleged drug debt.
Judge Beard allowed the evidence in. Sanders said she would be filing writs with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal ahead of the trial, but a stay on the matter was not issued.
More motions will be heard on Aug. 22. Jury selection is expected to start on Aug. 23.
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