COURTNEY COCO CASE: Jury selected, opening arguments start Thursday in David Burns trial

David Burns is charged with second-degree murder for the Oct. 2004 death of Courtney Coco
A jury has been selected and opening arguments are set to start Thursday, Oct. 27 for the trial of David Anthony Burns, 46 of Boyce.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 3:38 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A jury has been selected and opening arguments are set to start Thursday, Oct. 27 for the trial of David Anthony Burns, 46 of Boyce. Burns is charged with second-degree murder for the Oct. 2004 death of Courtney Coco, 19 of Alexandria.

Coco’s body was found in an abandoned building in Winnie, Texas on Oct. 4, 2004. Detectives said she was strangled and believe that her body was wrapped in her comforter and dumped in Texas. It is believed that Coco may have died the day before. Prosecutors have said that Burns was in a relationship with Coco’s sister and allege that he was also seeing Coco.

The case largely remained cold for nearly 17 years, at which time Burns was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury on April 13, 2021.

Jury selection began on Tuesday and both the State and defense questioned potential jurors largely on their pre-trial knowledge of the case. That was due, in part, to extensive news coverage over the years and a 2019 true crime podcast entitled “Real Life Real Crime: Who Murdered Courtney Coco?”

While a number of jurors in a panel that was interviewed on Wednesday were familiar with the case, the State and defense were still able to select 12 jurors and two alternates from the pool of jurors interviewed over the course of two days.

Opening arguments will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Special Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland and Assistant District Attorney Johnny Giordano are prosecuting for the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office. Burns is represented by public defender Christopher LaCour, who is being assisted by Willie Stephens and Randall Hayes.

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