Date set for LSU double murder trial

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 6:29pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA)--A trial date has been set for the man accused of murdering two LSU graduate students in December of 2007.

Devin Parker will get his day in court next June.  The 21 year old is facing second degree murder charges for the shooting deaths of Kiran Allam, 31 and Chandrasekhar Komma, 33.  The two students were found shot to death in an on-campus apartment.

Parker has plead not guilty to the charges.

While attorneys in the case agree on the date of trial, they're arguing over the location.

Devin Parker's attorney, Jim Holt, says Parker can't get a fair trial in East Baton Rouge.  And he wants the case moved out of the parish.

"We want this day in court, but we want to do it in an environment where the jurors are not predisposed to conviction." 

Jim Holt says Parker's skin color will have an impact on the jury's decision.  Holt filed a motion in district court saying "there's a long tradition of convicting blacks in EBR parish on almost any evidence...to serve as a deterrent."

"This is the first time I've ever heard this out of his mouth," says EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore.  "I believe he's just making these statements to try and benefit his client."

Moore calls Holt's claim offensive.

"This is a murder trial," says Moore.  "We don't ask what the color of the defendant is, we treat them all the same."

Another reason Holt wants to move the trial is media coverage.  He says jurors will be swayed by all the attention.

"This case has generated extensive coverage and we just don't think we can get a fair and impartial trial here in East Baton Rouge parish," says Holt.

Parker was one of three men arrested for the murders back in 2008.  He's been in West Baton Rouge Parish jail since.

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