Trial opens against King for murder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Managing Editor

EDGARD – Testimony continues in the second-degree murder trial of Brandon King of LaPlace, which opened Thursday before 40th Judicial District Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.

Prosecutor William O’Regan said jury selection concluded Thursday morning and testimony began in the case of the homicide of Carol Hunt, a 49-year-old LaPlace resident who was shot and killed on Aug. 4, 2002, at about 5 p.m., during an attempted drug buy in the LaPlace Oaks housing development.

According to the prosecution, two teenagers, King and Corey Dale Williams, sold her fake crack cocaine and, when she detected the ruse, shot her fatally.

She had been at the driver’s seat of her 1980 Datsun 280 during the incident when she encountered the two teenagers in the public housing development. A .38-caliber handgun was recovered by deputies upon arrival minutes later, and she had already died.

Hunt was struck once in the right shoulder by the bullet, which traveled at a downward angle across her torso. She died at the scene, as a result of the wound.

When struck, her car jumped a curb, crossed a lawn and came to rest against an apartment building, with the passenger side against the

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brick wall.

King, 17, at the time, and Williams, aged 15 at the time, were immediately charged with first-degree murder. Since then, the charges were reduced to second-degree murder in King’s case, and Williams accepted a plea agreement for manslaughter.

Four witnesses were heard Thursday afternoon before wrapping up for the evening at about 6:30 p.m. Among those due to testify on Friday was Williams, who was being held in an undisclosed location and is now serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter for his involvement in the crime.

During opening statements, King’s attorney David Belfield of New Orleans, argued against Williams’ pending testimony, and claiming it will be tainted by the plea agreement.

O’Regan, in his opening statement, pointed out his burden of proof is only to prove King was present and involved at the crime.

Hunt, a nurse, was in drug rehabilitation at the time of her death, according to the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office at the time of the incident. King faces a mandatory life sentence, if convicted.