A day after the mother of his child pleaded guilty to manslaughter and agreed to testify against him, a prosecutor Tuesday rejected a Walker man's offer to plead guilty to the same charge in the fatal 2015 stabbing and strangling of her convicted molester.
Jace Crehan, 23, is still scheduled to stand trial July 24 on a second-degree murder charge in the July 5, 2015, slaying of 47-year-old Robert Noce Jr. inside Noce's Zachary trailer.
But Crehan's attorneys indicated Tuesday they will ask state District Judge Tony Marabella to postpone the trial in light of Brittany Monk's guilty plea Monday. The judge said he will hear the request to continue the trial July 7.
East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Darwin Miller said he will oppose any delay of Crehan's trial. Miller told Marabella that Crehan's plea offer was not accepted for a multitude of factors, including the wishes of Noce's family. Miller, however, said the lines of communication with the District Attorney's Office are always open.
It was Miller who said inside Marabella's 19th Judicial District courtroom that the state would not accept Crehan's offer to plead guilty to manslaughter, which carries up to 40 years in prison. A second-degree murder conviction would carry a mandatory sentence of life behind bars.
A 19-year-old woman admitted Monday that she helped kill her convicted molester two years ag…
"I don't think it's an unreasonable resolution," Franz Borghardt, one of Crehan's attorneys, said outside the courthouse of Crehan's offer to plead guilty to manslaughter.
Borghardt said Monk, 19, did not deserve to spend the rest of her life in prison, and neither does Crehan. Borghardt said he doesn't blame Monk for pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
"If we can't get a plea, we're going to go for full justice," Borghardt added, saying justice would mean an acquittal on the second-degree murder charge. "We will try this case if we have to."
Noce is the former boyfriend of Monk's mother. Monk was seven months pregnant with Crehan's child when Noce was killed.
Jace Crehan told sheriff’s detectives his fiancée, Brittany Monk, was with him July 4 when h…
Noce was found dead less than two weeks after he pleaded "no contest" to carnal knowledge of a juvenile involving Monk. He was put on probation for five years.
Carson Marcantel, who also represents Crehan, told Marabella that Monk recently gave a lengthy statement to sheriff's detectives before pleading guilty in Noce's killing. He said the defense needs time to analyze that statement and prepare for it at Crehan's trial.
Monk's sentencing is set for Oct. 19, but Miller indicated he may ask for that date to be pushed back if Crehan's trial is delayed. Miller stressed that the state did not approach Crehan or Monk with any deals.
Borghardt said Crehan still loves Monk.
In her guilty plea, Monk admitted helping Crehan kill Noce. His body was found inside a 55-gallon plastic barrel in his trailer.
Crehan confessed to law enforcement and in letters and phone calls to The Advocate. In his communications with the newspaper, he compared his actions to those of Gary Plauche, who dodged prison time after fatally shooting his son's accused molester at the Baton Rouge airport in 1984.
A Walker man and his 19-year-old fiancee were given a July 24 trial date Friday in the fatal…