Mistrial declared for Brandon Francisco attempted second-degree murder trial
New trial date to be selected, comes after trial halted last week by La. Supreme Court for writ consideration
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A mistrial has been declared by Judge Greg Beard in the Brandon Francisco attempted second-degree murder trial, after a joint motion filed by the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office and the defense.
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, 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 are told a reason was not given.
Because of the trial disruption, the attorneys needed to meet with Judge Beard to determine how to move forward. On Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, Judge Beard signed off on a joint motion for a mistrial in the case. While a reason was not officially listed in the motion, the disruption put the trial off track for a week, creating a scheduling problem for jurors who had already received notices and witnesses who were subpoenaed from out of town.
There is no word yet on when a new date will be set for trial. Meanwhile, Francisco remains behind bars.
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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