A Baton Rouge man accused of fatally shooting a woman in 2015 and abducting her 2-year-old daughter won't be tried separately on murder, kidnapping and drug charges, a state judge decided Wednesday.

Curtis King's attorneys had filed a motion asking District Judge Trudy White to sever the second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and drug counts against him, which would have resulted in separate trials on each of the three counts.


"It's going to be difficult for the jury to pull this apart," Keith Thornton, one of King's attorneys, argued at a hearing Wednesday.

White denied the request to sever the charges, saying an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury that indicted King in September 2015 obviously believed the counts stemmed from "one continuous activity."

"It's all connected," the judge added.

Lyn Legier, who also represents King, said afterward that White's ruling will be reviewed and could be appealed.

King, 27, would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty as charged in the killing of 24-year-old Taylor Latham, whose body was discovered in a car outside her Louisiana Avenue home the evening of May 4, 2015.

Prosecutors contend King killed Latham between the evening of May 1, 2015, and the morning of May 2, 2015. She was shot in the head. Prosecutors allege King then kidnapped Latham's daughter May 3, 2015. He was found in possession of drugs when he was arrested three days later.

King told authorities he found Latham's daughter inside her house and took her with him to "rescue" her. His live-in girlfriend at the time dropped the girl off at a Scenic Highway women's shelter May 5, 2015, authorities said. She was not prosecuted.

Latham, according to King and several other witness statements, was a prostitute, prosecutor Kathleen Barrios has said in a court filing. Witnesses said King was her pimp, the filing states.


King is scheduled to stand trial April 2 on the murder, kidnapping and drug charges stemming from the 2015 incidents.

He also faces drug and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile charges in the 2013 death of his 6-month-old son. He is set to be tried on those charges after the murder and kidnapping trial.

Coroner's officials concluded King's son, Aiden King, died in October 2013 primarily because of an inability to breathe in an oversized bed, but those officials said there was not enough evidence to determine whether the death was a homicide or an accident.

Prosecutors have alleged King was "breaking down a large amount of marijuana" and had left his son unattended behind closed doors in an adult bed.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.