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Murder suspect legal team replaced

A man accused of shooting several people at a construction firm where he was previously employed has received a new team of lawyers. The man, who faces homicide charges in connection with the incident, received the new legal representation at the request of the Louisiana Public Defender Board. He will now be represented by the Baton Rouge Capital Conflict Office, according to state officials.

The man is accused of murder connected to the killing two women, ages 44 and 55. He had lost his job at the Greenwell Springs Road construction firm several months before the December 2009 incident. The suspect reportedly told authorities that he had only intended to shoot one person, the owner's son, who was not at the location at the time of the event.

The 55-year-old suspect faces two first-degree murder counts and several other charges of attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of killing two women and injuring several other people during the shooting spree. The man had been represented by a veteran public defender, but the state board rejected that man's request to continue overseeing capital murder cases. Another public defender was also prevented from serving on the man's legal team.

Louisiana law requires that capital murder suspects who are using the public defender system must be provided with two attorneys who are certified to handle such cases. This is largely because of the high-stakes nature of these cases, as the death penalty is a possible consequence for those convicted of capital murder. District attorneys in the East Baton Rouge parish have already declared that they intend to seek the death penalty in this case.

The Louisiana Public Defender's Office says they are strapped for capital-murder certified attorneys because of the large load of such cases.

Source: The Advocate, "Murder suspect gets new lawyers," Joe Gyan Jr., November 3, 2012

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