LAFAYETTE — Opening arguments are set to begin Wednesday morning in a second-degree murder trial involving a man accused in a beating that left a woman in a coma for 12 years until her death in 2001.
Louis Joseph George, 49, is accused of beating and strangling Michelle Steven in her Lafayette home in April 1989. Steven remained in a coma until she died at age 35 in September 2001.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested George in March 2007 after the Acadiana Crime Lab linked George to evidence taken from the crime scene, authorities have said.
A grand jury indicted him on a first-degree murder charge, which was later amended to second-degree murder, according to court records.
George has been in jail since 1997 on unrelated charges.
The case is being tried before 15th Judicial District Judge Edward D. Rubin.
Keith Stutes is prosecuting the case.
George is represented by attorney Harold D. Register.
The two sides decided on a jury of seven women and six men late Tuesday afternoon.
Register has also requested a stay from the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, arguing that Rubin erred in denying his request for a continuance Tuesday.
Barring a decision from the appeals court, the trial is expected to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Lafayette Parish Courthouse.