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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Convicted killer sentenced to death

Convicted killer sentenced to death

A Houma man convicted of killing a Lockport woman and her two children almost six years ago was sentenced to death last week.

On Nov. 4, 2012, David Brown fatally stabbed 29-year-old Jacquelin, 7-year-old Gabriela and 1-year-old Izabela Nieves, raped Jacquelin and Gabriella, and set the family’s apartment on fire.

After unanimously convicting Brown of three counts of first-degree murder on Oct. 30, 2016, a Lafourche Parish jury decided two days later that Brown should receive the death penalty.

District Court Judge John LeBlanc announced a sentence that hasn’t been handed down in Lafourche Parish for over 40 years.

“The defendant shall be sentenced to death,” LeBlanc said in front of a packed courtroom.

Shackled in a jury box in an orange jumpsuit and flanked by six security guards, Brown showed little emotion as his sentence was announced.

There were no victim impact statements, and the hearing lasted about five minutes. Although the hearing was brief, it marked a major turning point in an emotionally charged case, District Attorney Kristine Russell said.

“We waited a long time to get to this point where we could finally have him sentenced,” Russell said. “It’s been a long time coming. Everyone’s been working hard to get to this day, and we will keep on working. There are a lot of things that have to happen as far as motions that need to be filed by the defense. Unfortunately, there were a lot of delays in this particular case. We had hoped it would have been done a lot sooner but because of those delays, it took a long time.”

One of several motions that delayed Brown’s sentencing was a request for a new trial.

LeBlanc denied Brown’s request for a retrial on April 5 and originally scheduled the sentencing for June 1. Brown’s attorney, Cecelia Kappel, of the New Orleans-based Capital Appeals Project, asked the court to reschedule the sentencing to today to allow time to prepare for the case.

After the hearing, Kappel said she intended to appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court.