An attorney for the Baton Rouge man accused of fatally shooting a woman in her Beauregard Town home and wounding her 9-year-old daughter said Friday authorities have traced a footprint found inside the house back to the man’s shoes.
Nelvil Hollingsworth, one of Aramis Jackson’s court-appointed lawyers, acknowledged that the shoeprint evidence is a significant development in the capital murder case.
“Obviously the weight and credibility of the evidence linking any defendant to a crime scene is crucial in the state’s ability to prove its case,’’ Hollingsworth said after a brief status hearing in the case.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III confirmed later that the footprint matched shoes “found in (Jackson’s) possession.’’
Moore, who cautioned that Jackson is presumed innocent, would not say if Jackson was wearing the shoes when he was arrested.
“We believe we have evidence that is substantial,’’ he added.
Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty against the 21-year-old Jackson in the Sept. 24 shooting death of Alexandra Engler, 42, in her Beauregard Street residence.
Engler’s daughter, Ariana, was shot multiple times but survived.
The girl’s father, John Adriani, attended Friday’s hearing and said afterward his daughter is doing “really well.’’
Jackson is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. His next court appearance before state District Judge Tony Marabella is Dec. 14.
Police have said the shootings occurred during a burglary.
Jackson became a suspect after the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab linked him to DNA evidence found at the Engler home, police stated.
His DNA was on file because he had been arrested previously and accused of a felony, court records indicate. State law requires anyone arrested for a felony to have a DNA sample taken at the time of booking.
Jackson pleaded guilty in July 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of illegal carrying of a weapon, court records show. The weapon was a revolver, an affidavit of probable cause stated.
Jackson also became a suspect in the Engler case after witnesses identified him as the person they saw in the area shortly after the crime carrying a gun and a large flat-screen television believed stolen from the Engler home, police said.