Trial for Brandon Francisco allowed to move forward after La. Supreme Court decision
Louisiana Supreme Court denies writ filed by Rapides DA’s Office in attempt to introduce prior conviction
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has denied a writ filed by the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office in the Brandon Francisco case and lifted a stay that was in place, allowing his trial to move forward.
Francisco, 36, of Mansura, is charged with attempted second-degree murder for a Dec. 24, 2018 shooting near Cheneyville, which court documents state involved an alleged outstanding drug debt.
Before jury selection began last week for Francisco’s trial, Judge Greg Beard granted a state motion to allow in evidence of a prior conviction of Francisco’s for attempted second-degree murder. In that case, Francisco pleaded guilty to stabbing his ex-girlfriend upwards of 20 times in Avoyelles Parish in 2007.
Francisco’s defense attorney, Tiffany Sanders, filed a writ with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal to review Judge Beard’s decision because she believed the cases were too different - one was domestic and one allegedly involved drugs. The Third Circuit sided with Sanders.
Assistant District Attorney Johnny Giordano and Brian Cespiva filed a writ with the Louisiana Supreme Court after the Third Circuit decision was announced, asking the higher court to review the appellate court’s decision. The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed to review the case but issued a stay, which put the brakes on the trial just two hours into jury selection last Wednesday.
Roughly a week later, the Louisiana Supreme Court announced its decision. In a 4-3 vote, the court denied the writ filed by the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office and sided with Francisco’s defense. We’re told a reason was not given. That means the trial is able to move forward, but because of the disruption, the attorneys will need to meet with Judge Beard to determine a path forward.
Francisco has also been named a person of interest in the disappearance of Ella Goodie of Scott, Louisiana. That case remains under investigation.
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