A Baton Rouge man accused of killing a woman in 2015 and abducting her 2-year-old daughter says he doesn't think he can get a fair trial if one jury considers the murder, kidnapping and drug charges filed against him.
Curtis King's court-appointed attorneys have asked state District Judge Trudy White to sever the charges and have each tried separately.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Friday his office will oppose the request.
Taylor Latham's body was found in a car outside her Louisiana Avenue home the evening of May 4, 2015. But prosecutors allege King, 27, killed the 24-year-old woman between the evening of May 1, 2015, and the morning of May 2, 2015. She was shot once in the head.
A Baton Rouge man accused in the May slaying of a woman with whom he had an on-and-off relat…
Prosecutors say King kidnapped Latham's daughter May 3, 2015, and he was found 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.
King's 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.
King's lawyers contend in a recent court filing that the three counts he faces charge "three separate and unrelated offenses occurring on ... different days over a 5 day period, each involving different individuals."
"The jury will have insurmountable difficulty in distinguishing the alleged acts and would be more inclined to convict (King) on a lesser standard of evidence on each count because of the cumulative effect of the evidence involving numerous counts, than it would were the trial solely concerned with one charge of transaction," the defense attorneys argue in court filings.
King's lawyers say separate trials for each of the offenses is a must if he is to receive a fair trial.
"The slight additional burden imposed on the State's judicial machinery will be more than offset by the heightened likelihood of (King) being afforded a fair and impartial trial on each count," the defense lawyers said in court filings.
If King is not tried separately on the charges, it will "result in an unfair, biased and prejudicial trial unworthy of the quality of justice to which Louisiana courts constantly strive," they added.
Moore said trying King's murder, kidnapping and drug counts from the 2015 incidents before the same jury is proper and disputed that it would be unfair to do so.
"All three of the defendant's alleged crimes are connected together and constitute parts of a common scheme or plan," he said.
Latham, according to King and several other witness statements, was a prostitute, prosecutors have said in a court filing. Witnesses said King was her pimp, according to the filing.
King was scheduled to stand trial Nov. 6, but the trial recently was pushed back to April 2.
King also faces drug and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile charges in the 2013 death of his 6-month-old son. The trial on those charges also is set for April 2, but prosecutors have said they will try him first on the murder, kidnapping and drug charges related to the 2015 crimes.
When Curtis King goes on trial in the 2015 killing of a Baton Rouge woman and abduction of h…
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 wasn't 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.
King is represented by Lyn Legier, Fred Kroenke, Keith Thornton and Kina Kimble with the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defenders Office.