Becnel renders motion filed by Victors moot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010



LAPLACE – A motion filed by Errol and Tonya Victor to “refuse indictment without dishonor” in the second-degree murder case against them was rendered moot by Judge Mary Hotard Becnel early last week because pleas had been entered in the case.

Becnel registered the ruling last Tuesday during a short hearing in LaPlace. An attorney for the Victors said since Becnel entered pleas of not guilty for Errol and Tonya Victor, the issue could not be argued further. The couple refused to enter pleas themselves and caused a disturbance in the courtroom at an arraignment hearing earlier this month.

The Victors were both indicted on second-degree murder charges in the 2008 death of 8-year-old M.L. Lloyd III, who is Tonya Victor’s son and Errol Victor’s stepson.

Becnel still must also rule on a motion heard Aug. 4 asking that Becnel recuse herself and allow the trial to return to Madeline Jasmine’s court, where it had originally been scheduled. The case shifted from Jasmine to Becnel after a previous indictment was thrown out by Jasmine because a member of the grand jury wore a shirt advertising his employment with the St. John Sheriff’s Office. The couple was re-indicted, and the new case landed in Becnel’s court by virtue of a random allotment system.

Errol Victor has also filed a motion to allow for self-representation in the case. Both he and Tonya Victor had been assigned court appointed attorneys through the St. John Public Defenders’ Office.

According to the St. John Clerk of Court, the Victors are scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 20 in Edgard.

It is not clear what will be heard at that appearance.

The Victors remain incarcerated at the St. John the Baptist Parish Jail in LaPlace.