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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Murder trials set for this year

Murder trials set for this year

Fifteen murder cases are set for trial this year in Terrebonne, Lafourche and Assumption parishes, though dates are all subject to change.

In Lafourche, Toronzo Thompkins, 38, and Traveyon Blackledge, 21, are set for trial Jan. 24.

They are charged with second-degree murder in the shootings of Nikki Landry, 41, and Harry Lefort, 54. The victims' bodies were found Sept. 22, 2013, in Landry's Larose apartment.

Investigators believe Thompkins ordered Blackledge, who is his son, and Jerrard Major, 38, to kill Landry, a police informant set to testify against him in his cocaine distribution trial.

Thompkins was convicted of that charge and is serving a life sentence. Major is set for a hearing Jan. 20 on a motion to suppress his police statement.

The penalty for second-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

A principal, or accomplice, can face the same penalty even if he doesn't directly commit the murder. An accessory after the fact - someone who helps an offender after a felony with the intent that he'll avoid criminal consequences - can face up to five years in prison.