The trial of alleged Baton Rouge serial killer Kenneth Gleason which had been set to begin next month has been pushed back to April.

State District Judge Beau Higginbotham scrubbed the Oct. 21 trial date earlier this month because he is involved in the Oct. 12 judicial election.

Gleason's attorney, Chris Alexander, and East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings selected a new trial date of April 27.

Gleason, 25, is charged with second-degree murder in the Sept. 12, 2017, shooting death of Bruce Cofield, and first-degree murder in the fatal Sept. 14, 2017, shooting of Donald Smart.

The victims were black; Gleason is white.

Gleason also is charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder stemming from a Sept. 11, 2017, incident in which he allegedly fired several shots into the home of the only black family on the Sandy Ridge Drive block where he lived with his parents. Two men were inside but not injured.

Gleason is linked to Cofield's killing and the nonfatal shooting through DNA evidence, and to both fatal shootings and the nonfatal incident through ballistics evidence, authorities have said.

Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty after consulting with Smart's family. Gleason would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in that slaying. Second-degree murder also carries a penalty of life imprisonment.

Authorities have said the three nighttime shootings were apparently random and possibly racially motivated. Gleason allegedly shot both men, then stood over them and fired more bullets, according to investigators.

Cofield, 59, was shot as he sat at a bus stop on Florida Street near South Acadian Thruway. Smart, 49, was killed at the Alaska Street BREC park while walking to his overnight shift at Louie's Cafe.

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.