Deadly hit and run trial delayed as both sides need more time for expert witnesses

Trial for David Westmoreland, originally scheduled for June, continued without date
A trial scheduled to begin the week of June 18, 2023, for David Westmoreland has been continued without date.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 1:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - A trial scheduled to begin the week of June 18, 2023 for David Westmoreland, a former Rapides Parish juvenile probation officer charged in a deadly hit and run in which Alexandria police said he was intoxicated, has been continued without date.

Westmoreland is charged with vehicular homicide and hit and run for the May 1, 2021 crash in which he is accused of hitting Donnie Cayer, 48, of Alexandria, with his truck, while Cayer was riding his bicycle with his son on Horseshoe Drive in Alexandria. He is also accused of leaving the scene. Westmoreland has pleaded “not guilty.”

A report from the Alexandria Police Department stated that Westmoreland provided a breath sample with a reading of .137g% BAC. He also voluntarily provided a blood sample.

In late May, Westmoreland’s defense attorney, Mike Small, and Assistant District Attorney Kelvin Sanders filed a joint motion to continue the trial date. In the filing, they said that was due to Sanders providing Small with an expert report from Joseph O. Jones, a forensic toxicologist who was recently retained by the State, to evaluate the case regarding the effects of alcohol. Jones would also testify as an expert witness.

Small wants to get his own expert witness. So, both sides will need to prepare for that.

Since all 9th Judicial District judges recused themselves from the case, due to Westmoreland’s ties to the courthouse, ad hoc Judge Jimmie Peters was appointed. Peters signed off on the continuance on Monday. A new trial date has not yet been set.

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