University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Kenneth Donnelly was found dead in his off-campus apartment in October 2010.
Two men are charged in connection—Ian Trahan, 21, of Youngsville and Wayland Guillory, 23, of Lafayette. Three years later, both are still awaiting trial.
“There were numerous pre-trial motions that were filed by both defendants in this matter that had to be heard,” says Assistant District Attorney Pat Magee.
Magee suspects the two defendants will go to trial next year. A timeframe he says is not unusual.
“I've had some matters take longer. I've had some matters go quicker. Every case is different,” says Magee.
Defending Trahan is Tommy Guilbeau, who says the prosecution may be holding up the process.
“Over three years, the only thing that has changed is that the state's witnesses have gotten worse, worse and worser for the district attorney. One of them has recanted his statement against my client and two others have recanted under oath at prior hearings,” says Guilbeau.
Guilbeau says there's no physical evidence to connect Trahan to the alleged murder; he says only a phone call to Donnelly's roommate, Rufus Fells, who was severely beaten that night.
“There was a connection in that he did make a phone call and tried to buy drugs. Did he go four or five hours later and murder him? No,” says Guilbeau.
Magee says he is unable to discuss any of the evidence in the case.
“Ethically, I'm bound not to comment on any evidentiary matters,” says Magee.
Magee says Judge Marilyn Castle has set a pre-trial date for February, where the remaining motions for the case will be heard. A trial date will then be set first for Trahan and then Guillory.