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Trial delayed for suspect accused of killing a Lafayette police officer

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Posted at 11:39 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 12:39:47-04

Trial will be delayed for the man accused of fatally shooting Lafayette Police Department officer Michael Middlebrook and injuring three others. According to motions filed, the request was made to delay proceedings for Ian Paul Howard because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The court documents state the health crisis makes it impossible to prepare for a July trial; in addition, all expert funding for capital cases in Louisiana has been canceled at least until July 1, 2020. They say attorneys have had to work from home and are unable to travel to do the necessary field investigation and interviews.

The judge changed the order to make the hearings for change of venue and suppress evidence for July 13th, which was the original trial date, and the trial itself was reset to November 9, 2020.

Howard has two pending cases: a first-degree murder case in the 2017 shooting death of Lafayette Cpl. Michael Middlebrook - for which prosecutors intend to pursue the death penalty and another case where he faces three charges of attempted first-degree murder that involve the collateral victims.

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