Attorneys for one of the men accused in the 2015 beating, robbery, abduction and killing of an elderly Highland Road couple filed court papers Wednesday asking that their client be tried separately from his co-defendant.

Frank Garcia's lawyers claim in the motion to sever that Garcia, 50, and Ernesto Llerena Alonso, 45, have antagonistic defenses, and they anticipate that  Alonso will try to "shift blame from himself to Garcia" at trial. Alonso has made statements to detectives in the case, they add.

Garcia's attorneys, East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Public Defender Mike Mitchell and Assistant Public Defender Lyn Legier, also argue that Garcia will be deprived of his constitutional right to confront Alonso if the two cousins are tried together.

“If Garcia were tried with his co-defendant, he would be barred from calling Alonso to testify at trial and from having the opportunity to cross-examine the testimony pursuant to Alonso’s right against self-incrimination,” Mitchell and Legier contend.

Dwight Doskey, one of Alonso’s attorneys, declined comment Wednesday. Doskey is with the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana in New Orleans.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office will review Garcia’s motion and provide its position on it to state District Judge Trudy White on Thursday, when Garcia and Alonso are scheduled to make their next court appearance.

A trial date is currently set Oct. 1 for both men.

Garcia and Alonso are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Denis "Bubbie" Duplantier, 71, and Suzanne "Suzy" Duplantier, 70. They no longer face the death penalty if found guilty as charged. A first-degree murder conviction would carry an automatic life prison term.

Authorities have said the Duplantiers were strangled. Alonso did landscaping work for the couple and lived in an apartment on other property the couple owned.

Their bodies were found Oct. 19, 2015, in the back seat of their red pickup at a Hammond gas station. Alonso’s white pickup was captured on surveillance video as it followed the Duplantiers’ truck into the Petro truck stop, authorities have said. Alonso’s truck was recovered at Garcia’s residence in Hollywood, Florida.

A safe inside the Duplantier home was found open, with cash missing. A large amount of cash and a number of unspecified items believed stolen from the home were found at Garcia’s residence in Florida, authorities have said.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.