Accused Killer Pleads Not Guilty

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 1998

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / January 23, 1998

EDGARD – Ronald Williams and Glynn Juniors pleaded not guilty Thursdayto the murder of JoAnn Edler and the attempted murders of Dung Dang Leand Glen Wright before 40th Judicial District Judge J. Sterling Snowdy.Williams and Juniors, both 29, entered their pleas assisted by attorneyRichard Stricks and Richard Holmes, who moved unsuccessfully to delayarraignment until the defendants could have appointed additional capital-case-qualified attorneys. Holmes is not qualified to handle cases whichcould result in a death penalty.

“While it’s an important part of the case, it requires little expertpreparation,” Snowdy ruled on the arraignment.

The pair also pleaded not guilty to attempted armed robbery charges in theJan. 6 In-N-Out Food Store incident, where the Vietnamese owner and hisemployee successfully fought back, with a gunshot from a dropped pistolwounding Juniors as he tried to escape the botched robbery.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Lorio stated Juniors, of Reserve, ischarged with the first-degree murder of Edler and, in the In-N-Out case,with being a principal to attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.Lorio continued that Williams is charged with being a principal to thefirst-degree murder of Edler and, in the In-N-Out case, with attemptedfirst-degree murder, being a principal to attempted first-degree murderand attempted armed robbery.

Williams, of LaPlace, slumped in his chair for most of the 10 minutes hewas in court, spoke only to enter his plea and did not look around thecourtroom. Juniors, on the other hand, stared around at 16 members ofEdler’s family, including at J. Jules Edler III who, sitting on the frontbench, fought to suppress his angry tears while looking at Juniors. Then,with a quick wave at three supporters at one side of the courtroom, heleft.

Edler was found murdered Dec. 22 at her place of business. AfterThursday’s hearing, Edler’s father, Roland LaBranche, commented, “Whydoes it take so goddamned long?”St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. still awaits having the pairarraigned for the Nov. 17 murder of Albert Robinson, 43, Gonzales, whoworked at Fleet Boats Inc. in Convent, and the attempted murder of thebusiness’s owner, John Jackson, 65.Forensic evidence from the .380-caliber semiautomatic allegedly used byJuniors in all three shootings and recovered at the time of their arrest,reportedly link the pair to all three incidents.

Williams and Juniors were both out on parole after serving time in prisontogether for armed robbery. Williams’ armed robbery arrest was in Nov.1985, while Juniors’ arrest was in June 1986.

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