Monday, March 13, 2017

Rodricus Crawford: Louisiana; Bulletin: Yet another delay: Arklatex reports that he may not learn how prosecutors intend to proceed until April 26, Arklatex reports. Reporter Nancy Cook. 13 March, 2017.

"A hearing has been scheduled for the man whose case was sent back to Caddo District Court after the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his conviction and death penalty sentence last November. Rodricus Crawford will be in court April 26 for hearings and arguments regarding a new trial. In November 2013, a Caddo Parish jury found Crawford guilty of first degree murder in the February 2012 death of his one-year-old son, Roderius Lott, and sentenced him to the death penalty. Crawford spent more than two years on death row before his conviction and sentence was overturned and the case sent back to Caddo District Court, but in November 2016 the Louisiana Supreme Court vacated the capital conviction in Caddo District Court and ordered a new trial. Following the Supreme Court decision, Crawford was brought back to Caddo District Court, and was released on $50,000 bond pending a new trial. In January, Crawford was in court for a hearing, but it was rescheduled for February. The February date was continued until March to give prosecutors and investigators more time to study the case. In light of the Supreme Court decision, Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. ordered a fresh investigation into the case. Stewart was not district attorney when the Crawford case was investigated, and the prosecutor of that case has since retired. With a new assistant district attorney assigned to the case with no prior experience, Stewart wanted to put a new set of eyes onto evidence and procedures that led to the original prosecution. But the March 15 date turned out to be too early, as prosecutors only received the return of forwarded evidence from the Louisiana Supreme Court. The evidence was received March 3, giving prosecutors less than two weeks to study it, ergo the rescheduling until April.