Gary François, accused of gunning down another man in Oakwood Mall on Christmas Eve, will go to trial on Nov. 3.
Judge Lee Faulkner, of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, set the date Friday after denying a defense motion to prevent the jury from hearing eyewitness testimony, defense attorney Michael Kennedy said.
Kennedy said one of the eyewitnesses to the shooting has expressed some uncertainty about the shooter’s identity and another has placed François in the store at a time prior to the shooting. Those problems should have made the testimony inadmissible, he said.
Kennedy’s motion to suppress argued that “the identifications are so inherently unreliable and the danger that they will be given undue weight by the jury (is) so great that the identification evidence should be excluded by the court as being substantially more prejudicial than probative.”
Authorities say surveillance footage shows François waiting among last-minute Christmas shoppers outside the Foot Locker store in the West Bank mall as James Vaughn, 24, makes a purchase at the counter. He is accused of walking into the shoe store and shooting Vaughn four times while Vaughn was standing and once more after he fell.
François was arrested by Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies at Wright and Cherry Blossom lanes. Kennedy has said that a fingerprint found on the .40-caliber handgun did not match François’ prints.
Authorities have not identified a possible motive but say François knew Vaughn, who lived in Harvey.
François, who is from Hahnville, remains in jail. He also has been charged with resisting arrest by force or violence.
A hearing on motions dealing with the production of records pertaining to DNA analysis is scheduled for Sept. 22.
Kennedy said the defense has more motions to file and that “at this point, we remain confident this is a perfectly defendable case.”
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.