The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office has given notice that it intends to seek the death penalty against a 28-year-old man in the July 25 shooting death of his girlfriend and wounding of her 11-year-old niece.
Devon Terrell Livous is accused of killing Raolatu Alowonle, 28, and shooting her niece in the leg in the 1800 block of Ryder Drive while the woman and girl walked on the sidewalk just before 5 p.m., police have said.
Livous lived in the 1700 block of Ryder.
In the state’s “notice of intent to seek the death penalty and designation of statutory aggravating circumstances,” Assistant District Attorney Melanie Fields alleges Livous was engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated burglary at the time of the incident.
Fields contends Livous knowingly created a risk of death or great bodily harm to more than one person. The prosecutor further claims the offense was committed “in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner.”
She also states that Livous had the required specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm.
State District Judge Lou Daniel has appointed the local Public Defender’s Office to represent Livous.
Mike Mitchell, director of the office, said Thursday his office is not only short on staff attorneys certified to handle capital murder cases but also lacks “the funds to contract with anyone who isn’t on staff.”
“That’s an issue we’re still litigating,” he said.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the state has its physical evidence and witnesses in order, adding: “We are prepared to go to trial now.”
Moore noted that Alowonle had a young son who witnessed the shooting.
Livous, who is charged with one count each of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, is scheduled to return to court March 19. A trial date has not been set.
A first-degree murder conviction carries two possible penalties: death by lethal injection or life in prison.
Four other women have claimed in court documents that Livous was abusive to them as well. The women were issued protective orders against Livous between 2005 and 2011, East Baton Rouge Parish clerk of court records show.
There are no records with the Clerk of Court’s Office that indicate Alowonle had requested a protective order against Livous.
An order requested by one woman on June 22, 2011, was still in effect the day Alowonle was killed and will not expire until Jan. 27.
The woman said in her petition for protection that Livous threatened her for not returning his phone calls. On one occasion, she said, Livous threw two bricks through the front window of her car while she was inside the vehicle. She also claimed Livous stalked her and pushed her while she was pregnant.
The most recent protective order was issued to another woman on Sept. 22, 2011. She said in her petition that Livous stalked and threatened her on several occasions. Her order was dismissed in November 2011 after she failed to appear for a hearing.
The women who requested the other two orders made similar allegations of abuse, the petitions show.
Livous served two stints in Parish Prison in 2006 and 2007 for violating a protective order issued in 2005, court records indicate. His first trip to the jail was for 90 days and his second was for six months.