- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - The trial for a man accused of killing a Lockport woman and her two daughters in 2012 is being delayed for the fourth time.

The Daily Comet reports (https://bit.ly/1UE8Srt) David Brown will find out when his new trial will be at a hearing July 17 before state District Judge John LeBlanc. Brown is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 4, 2012, stabbings of 29-year-old Jacquelin Nieves and her daughters, 7-year-old Gabriela and 1-year-old Izabela.

Brown, who is on his second set of attorneys, was originally scheduled for trial in March 2014, but the trial was delayed to September 2014 and then April and September of this year. His attorneys had asked LeBlanc for another continuance, saying they couldn’t be ready for the Sept. 14 trial date.

The judge decided Wednesday to delay the trial because of issues involving the Jefferson Parish Crime Laboratory.

Lead defense attorney Kerry Cuccia, of the New Orleans-based Capital Defense Project of Louisiana, said at the hearing that he still hadn’t received information on DNA analysis procedures from the Crime Lab. He said he couldn’t move forward with other matters in the case until this one was resolved.

“Right now we have this problem with the DNA and the (analysis) protocols, and that’s what’s pushing us back,” he said.

The defense team must also investigate possible contamination of evidence after reports of water damage at the Crime Lab. Jefferson Parish’s law enforcement district filed a lawsuit May 13 against the building’s contractors and architects, saying the lab has been leaking since at least 2012.

Last month, the judge rejected four other reasons Cuccia gave for requesting a trial delay. The defense wanted to talk to a nurse who evaluated Brown, prepare for possible sentencing and look into Jacquelin’s husband and the girls’ father, Carlos Nieves, who was cleared as a suspect early in the investigation.

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Information from: Daily Comet, https://www.dailycomet.com

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