- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has overturned a man’s death sentence for killing a minister in Caddo Parish in 2003.

Friday’s ruling upholds Robert Glen Coleman’s 2012 conviction for killing 70-year-old Julian L. Brandon, Jr., but the court overturned Coleman’s death sentence for the second time. He will get a new sentencing hearing in district court.

The Times reports (https://bit.ly/24ukeTS) that the state Supreme Court ruled prosecutors intentionally misled the defense about the evidence they intended to present during the penalty phase of Coleman’s trial.

Coleman was initially convicted and sentenced to death in 2005 for killing Brandon in his Blanchard home on New Year’s Day. But his initial conviction was overturned in 2007, when the court ruled prosecutors had discriminated against prospective jurors based on race.

Coleman’s girlfriend, Brandy Holmes, also was convicted and sentenced to death for her part in the killing. The court had previously upheld her sentence. She is one of two women on Louisiana’s death row.

Brandon’s 68-year-old wife, Alice, was severely wounded in the attack but survived. She died in 2008.

During the penalty phase of Coleman’s second trial, prosecutors suggested Coleman was responsible for another killing - the fatal shooting of Shreveport resident Terrance Blaze in January 2003. Coleman was never charged in Blaze’s killing.

In its majority opinion, the state Supreme Court said prosecutors hadn’t given adequate notice to the defense that they intended to accuse Coleman of killing Blaze.

“Given the grave and final nature of capital punishment and the precious resources the people of this State dedicate to ensuring justice is done in these most serious cases, the State’s unreasonable delay in giving notice concerning such as crucial piece of evidence is indefensible,” Justice Jeanette Knoll wrote in a concurring opinion.


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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