St. Landry

Jul 23, 2013 5:33 PM by Tonya LaCoste

Convicted murderer seeking new trial in death of Eunice couple

The man convicted of killing an elderly Eunice couple may get a new trial. Warren Gautreaux's attorney has filed motions seeking a new trial. In May, Gautreaux was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for killing Youric and Mary Courville in Jan. 2006.

Gautreaux stabbed the couple to death, but his attorney, Jarvis Claiborne, says two witnesses during the trial committed perjury. According to court documents, Gautreaux's ex-wife, Rita Labbe, and one of Gautreaux's friend's, Charles Fontenot perjured themselves.

Documents state if certain evidence "had been introduced at the trial, it would probably have changed the verdict or judgment on judgment of guilty."

Labbe and Fontenot testified Gautreaux confessed to killing the Courvilles, but Gautreaux's attorney calls them liars because Gautreaux was in jail when Labbe and Fontenot claim they talked to him.

Besides claims of perjury, Claiborne says Gautreaux didn't have a fair trial because he couldn't cross examine Labbe, Fontenot and two other witnesses on pending charges.

"By not allowing the defense to question state's witnesses about possible deals or favorable expectations on pending charges, the defendant was prejudiced and part of his defense hampered," court documents state.

The two other witnesses are Robert Kibodeaux and Luke Gonzalez. According to court documents, "Defense counsel could not explore any possible deals on pending charges with Rita Labbe, Luke Gonzalez, or Robert Kibodeaux, all subsequent witnesses to Charles Fontentot."

The judge will consider Claiborne's request for a new trial on Aug. 1, the same day Gautreaux is scheduled for sentencing.

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