The 1st-degree murder trial of Angola 5 defendant Barry S. Edge will go forward
in April as planned, despite the Saturday arrest of one of his defense
The Advocate reports retired Orleans Parish Judge Jerome M. Winsberg issued the
ruled Tuesday following a meeting with prosecution and defense attorneys and
West Feliciana Parish sheriff's deputies arrested lead defense attorney Nelvil
Hollingsworth on Saturday afternoon on a complaint by Louisiana State
Penitentiary authorities, who alleged Hollingsworth, 62, tried to enter the
prison with 5.2 grams of marijuana hidden in the lining of his jacket.
Hollingsworth, who had scheduled a visit at Angola with Edge, was booked on 1
count of introduction of contraband into a penal institution and released on
Winsberg said in open court that "a motion was made and denied" during the
conference, but he did not elaborate on the specifics of the motion or which
side made it.
The lawyers also declined to discuss the proceedings.
Edge is accused of 1st-degree murder in the Dec. 28, 1999, slaying of prison
security Capt. David C. Knapps, 49, during an escape attempt from Angola's Camp
Prosecutors from Jefferson and Caddo parishes have tried 3 of Edge's
co-defendants, winning death sentences against Jeffrey Cameron Clark and David
Brown. A jury could not agree on the death penalty for Robert G. Carley, who
was sentenced to a 2nd life sentence in Angola.
The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections has spent $7.97 million
so far for the prosecution and defense of the 5 indicted inmates, according to
figures released Tuesday.
Edge, 51, was scheduled for trial this week, but Hollingsworth and co-counsel
Fred Kroenke won nearly a two-month delay after prosecutors recently announced
they planned to use testimony by Angola inmate Richard Domingue about an
alleged "jailhouse confession" by Edge.
The attorneys requested the additional time to investigate Domingue's
Winsberg said prospective jurors from St. Tammany Parish will fill out a
questionnaire on April 19 and the lawyers will begin questioning them on April
The state also plans to try inmate David Mathis. His trial had been set to
begin April 23 until Edge was granted the delay.
Twentieth Judicial District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla has the option of reducing
the felony count against Hollingsworth to a misdemeanor, such as simple
possession of marijuana, but he said he has not made a decision in the case.
D'Aquilla cannot try the murder cases because he briefly represented Edge when
D'Aquilla was a public defender in the judicial district.
(source: Associated Press)