CLINTON - An East Feliciana Parish jury acquitted a Jackson man Wednesday who was accused of second-degree murder in the fiery 2007 death of a Port Hudson man.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated less than 55 minutes before returning the unanimous “not guilty” verdict in the trial of Lionel “L-Dog” Allen, 54, charged with two other people in the slaying of Andre Turner, 38, on Dec. 2, 2007.
Turner was beaten in the head, run over by a car and set on fire while he was still alive, according to testimony in the three-day trial.
Deer hunters found his body a day later in a swampy area bordering Thompson Creek off La. 964 in East Feliciana Parish.
In addition to Allen, a parish grand jury indicted Jonova Walker, 33, of Solitude, and Josie Morgan, 39, of the Port Hudson area, with second-degree murder in Turner’s death.
Prosecutors allege that Allen, Walker, Morgan and Turner robbed a Solitude bar owner at gunpoint at her home in West Feliciana Parish the night of Dec. 1 and that Turner was killed a few hours later.
Walker agreed in November 2008 to testify against Morgan and Allen.
She told the jury on Tuesday that the four divided about $6,000 at a Scenic Highway motel and that a fight later broke out between Allen and Turner as the four were driving on Carney Road near Zachary.
Walker said Morgan hit Turner on the head with a pipe wrench and ran over him with the car Morgan was driving. Allen and Morgan put the victim back into the car and drove him to East Feliciana Parish, where he was dumped and burned, the witness said.
Defense attorneys Cy J. D’Aquila Jr. and Chuck Ward presented witnesses who they said could show that Allen was not with the other suspects and victim that night, and branded Walker and another state witness, Charles Plain, as liars.
Ward told the jury that Walker “teared up” at the appropriate time during her testimony, but State Police investigators testified “she bragged about killing a man while she was in jail.”
The defense also hit at sheriff’s deputies and State Police investigators for not questioning Allen’s alibi witnesses and not producing a murder weapon or other kinds of evidence.
“Maybe we didn’t think they had anything to say, and we’re not wasting your time,” Assistant District Attorney Betsy Jones said of the defense witnesses, adding that none of them could say that Allen was where he claimed to be the night of the robbery and murder.
Morgan’s trial is set for October, and Walker will be allowed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice for her testimony.