The trial continued Wednesday for two brothers accused of conspiring and committing second-degree murder of a Lafayette boxer.

Judge Royale Colbert warned the jury to expect long days and late evenings as the holiday weekend approaches. One witness, scheduled to leave for vacation, had to interrupt the state's presentation of witnesses in a trial that has stretched on since June 21.

Another witness, which the state presented as an expert in cellular records and mapping, was challenged by the defense on his expertise. The same complaint had been previously lodged in court during a pretrial hearing.

After hearing animated arguments Wednesday by attorneys representing each of the Toby brothers, Colbert laughed heartily, read the legal definition of an expert and allowed Capt. Sonny Stutes to testify as an expert.

Stutes, a criminal investigative commander of detectives for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, explained to the jury that he has been mapping cellphone records since 2007 for the agency and has been trained on the technology as it has advanced. Stutes is able to input cellphone records for multiple devices into a program that plots time and location on a map in video form. 

Stutes was expected to show videos to the jury Wednesday afternoon that show where cellphones associated with each of the Toby brothers was the night of Oct. 13, 2018, when Brandon Broussard was gunned down in the driveway of his girlfriend's home. Stutes was also expected to show video mapping for a cellphone associated with another man the defense attorneys have said is a possible suspect in the case.

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State prosecutors Roya Boustany and Alisa Gothreaux say that Carlos Toby was the thinker and Shavis Toby was the actor who carried out the October 2018 shooting in retaliation for the nightclub fight between Carlos Toby and Broussard two weeks prior.

Defense attorneys Todd Clemons, representing Carlos Toby, and Kevin Boshea, representing Shavis Toby, say their clients aren't behind Broussard's murder. They've argued that the state's evidence is circumstantial, pointing out inconsistencies in witness testimonies and questioning law enforcement on their investigative techniques.

They've also pointed out that early witness statements indicated a tall, thin man was seen running from the crime scene when each of the Toby brothers is under 6 feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.

The brothers have been jailed without bond since their November 2018 arrests in connection to Broussard's murder. They were indicted on one count each of second-degree murder and criminal conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial, which began June 21, is expected to resume Thursday morning.


Email Megan Wyatt at mwyatt@theadvocate.com.