L’OBSERVATEUR: Victors making mockery of murder trial

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some of the details in the second-degree murder trial of Errol Victor Sr. and Tonya Victor boggle the mind.

They add a bizarre, rubbernecking element that gives the court proceedings a sideshow feel and belies a horrific and tragic event — the death of an 8-year-old Reserve boy.

M.L. Lloyd III was pronounced dead six years ago after his mother and stepfather brought him to River Parishes Hospital in April 2008. M.L., who was Tonya’s son and Errol’s stepson, was the victim, prosecutors and law enforcement say, of a violent beating that resulted in his death.

Errol and Tonya maintain a severe asthma attack led to the boy’s death.

That alone would cause many to follow the proceedings; however, what the Victors have done over the last six years — and more precisely — in the past two weeks has turned a sad display into a farce. It’s taking the best efforts of Louisiana Attorney General’s Office prosecutor Julie Cullen and Judge Mary Hotard Becnel to keep things professional.

It starts with Errol and Tonya, who skipped out on a scheduled court appearance prior to their trial in August 2011 when both were free on bond.

The couple was eventually featured on TV’s America’s Most Wanted, and authorities announced the Victors were arrested shortly after being profiled April 14, 2012.

The have since cycled through numerous defense attorneys, eventually choosing to represent themselves in court this month at the second-degree murder trial.

Neither is a trained lawyer, yet Errol refers to himself as a pastor.

When Judge Becnel directed the case, which began with opening statements Thursday, to proceed Saturday, the Victors continued their sideshow.

They chose not to cross examine witnesses Saturday, stating instead that their faith prevented them from engaging in work and necessitating they must rest. They also stood for long periods during the proceedings Saturday.

What a joke.

We can only imagine what the jury, which consists of nine women and three men, must be thinking as the trial nears the beginning of week two.

On Monday, the case featured Tonya cross-examining her son, Toi Williams, who took the stand as a prosecution witness detailing abuse he said the Victors applied to M.L.

Lost in this ordeal is M.L. Lloyd III, an 8-year-old who never got a chance to develop a voice of his own. Instead, six years after his death, a sideshow continues, one perpetrated by those who were supposed to nurture him.