Tuesday marked day one of a three day murder trial in Opelousas for defendant Kurt Miller. Accused of killing his live-in girlfriend in 2009, Miller has been charged with second degree murder.
In 2009, on December 19th, Miller told police his girlfriend, Laurie Coates, overdosed on drugs.
Nearly nine months later, Miller was arrested after an autopsy and investigation revealed traumatic injury to Coates’ body. During opening arguments, defense attorney Roy Richard states the bruises came from Miller attempting to give Coates live-saving CPR. Roy said the bruises were an unintentional result of Miller’s passionate attempt to save her life.
Prosecutor Donald Richard presented dozens of slides and photographs that told a different story. Expert witness Dr. Joel Carney testified the bruises could not have come from any attempt to perform CPR, except for a break to Coates’s ribs. Carney testified internal abdominal and brain hemorrhages, as well as several other bruises were caused from blunt force trauma.
During the photographic presentation, Coates’ daughter Brittany left St. Landry Parish Annex in tears.
“It was like living it all over again, “she said in a post-trial interview.
Carney also testified on Coates’ autopsy report. While traces of methadone, hydrocodone and benzodiazepines were found in her system, Carney stated, “The drugs present did not contribute to her death.”
The trial for Miller, who has been out on bail for nearly 5 years, continues on Wednesday at 9am and is expected to conclude on Thursday.