Calais House.jpg

Calais house, senior living facility where one resident stabbed another to death April 11. Larry Woodard was arrested hours later, accused of killing Francis Marinelli. Baton Rouge police said the two lived across the hall from each other.

A Baton Rouge man accused of stabbing his neighbor to death at a senior living facility in April has been sent to a state mental facility for treatment.

State District Judge Christopher Dassau took that action Monday after two doctors the judge appointed to evaluate Larry Woodard reported that the 69-year-old man is not competent to assist his lawyers at this time.

Woodard was indicted in August on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of Frances Marinelli, 67, at Calais House by Lobdell Boulevard and Bishop Ott Drive. He's also charged with obstruction of justice.

Police found Marinelli dead from apparent stab wounds in her apartment on April 11, then followed a trail of blood and encountered Woodard, who answered his door holding a bloody knife, according to an arrest report.

Police reported that Woodard "made several unsolicited statements advising officers that he had stabbed the victim."

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The report says surveillance video shows that Woodard left his apartment and knocked on the victim's door across the hall. When Marinelli opened the door, police say Woodard immediately struck her, knocking her down.

He entered her apartment and remained inside for several minutes, beating the victim and stabbing her numerous times with a bladed weapon, police said. He then walked back to his apartment, which likely left the blood trail.

Police said they later searched Woodard's apartment and found recently used first-aid supplies and cleaning products.

Police did not identify a motive for the attack and provided no information about whether the victim and suspect had any relationship other than being neighbors.

Doctors at the state mental hospital in Jackson will now try to restore Woodard's competency.


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