Judge: Jury must come to unanimous decision in accused cop killer case, AG’s Office disagrees

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Tuesday marks two years since the Lafayette police officer was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call.

LAFAYETTE, La. (Ashley White/The Advertiser)- A jury must come to a unanimous decision when it decides whether Ian Howard is guilty of fatally shooting a Lafayette Police officer and injuring three other people, a judge ruled. 

Howard’s attorneys, Stephen Singer and Elliot Brown, argued in front of 15th Judicial District Court Judge Jules Edwards III that the jury must reach a unanimous verdict, despite a law requiring a unanimous jury only applying to crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2019. 

Howard is accused of shooting and injuring Lafayette Officer Logan Signater, Craig Leopaul and Ameen Alfata in a Moss Street convenience store. A trial date is scheduled for Jan. 21.

The 29-year-old also is facing a first-degree murder charge, accused of killing police Cpl. Michael Middlebrook. The shooting occurred Oct. 1, 2017, at the Big Boy Discount Zone in north Lafayette.

A trial date has not been set in that capital case. 

Read The Advertiser’s full story here.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office said it plans to review Edwards’ ruling.

“We believe this opinion has no basis in fact, logic, or law,” Pat Magee, criminal director for the Louisiana Department of Justice, said in a statement Tuesday. “We will continue to do all we legally can to bring justice to the families of the law enforcement officers and citizens who were shot or murdered.”

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