Dexter Allen will stand trial May 9 in the killings of David and Nicholas Pence, the father and son found shot to death in the living room of their Metairie home in April.
A 24th Judicial District Court judge set the trial date Monday after rejecting defense motions to throw out the statements Allen and his accused accomplice, Haraquon Degruy, gave to police, as well as a shotgun and other evidence found when police searched Allen’s apartment.
Allen, 18, is accused of entering a side door of David and Elizabeth Pence’s Clifford Drive house just before midnight on April 22 and shooting David Pence, 56, in the neck, chest and leg as he sat in his chair, then shooting his 25-year-old son Nicholas in the face and head.
David Pence’s wife, Elizabeth, entered the living room after hearing a noise and found her husband and son dead.
Degruy, 18, is accused of accompanying Allen on a burglary spree that began earlier in the day and ended in the Pences’ killing.
Investigators said she and Allen later led police on a chase in the white Toyota Highlander that was seen in the Pences’ neighborhood shortly before the shootings.
Jerome Matthews, Allen’s attorney, sought unsuccessfully Monday to have Allen’s and Degruy’s statements thrown out, along with evidence including a Mossberg Model 590 shotgun, a green Remington 12-gauge shotgun shell, a Capital One MasterCard, a white and green Leap Pad computer and a cellphone that were recovered from 2227 Arts St. in New Orleans.
Matthews sought to show that the state trooper who ordered the search of the apartment had not taken part in Allen’s questioning and the search warrant therefore was invalid, but Judge Raymond Steib rejected the argument and dismissed both motions to suppress.
Allen is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and 19 counts of simple burglary. Degruy is charged with two counts of being a principal to second-degree murder and 17 counts of burglary.
It’s not clear yet whether Degruy will stand trial with Allen or separately. She is being held in East Louisiana State Hospital after being found mentally incompetent to stand trial for now.
Allen, meanwhile, had yet another incident at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna over the weekend, when he was rebooked on a count of resisting a guard.
Corrections officers said Allen was accused of throwing “human waste” at a fellow inmate on Saturday. After Allen was taken away from his cell for a security check, according to a booking report, it took the efforts of several guards to wrestle him back into his cell. The Sheriff’s Office alleges that Allen also took a swing at one guard .
Allen was accused weeks earlier of battery on a police officer and resisting police by force for a similar Jan. 29 incident. Guards alleged then that Allen head-butted a deputy who was responding to a report that Allen had thrown feces on another inmate. Deputies said Allen “wildly” struck two more deputies and it took “defensive strikes” as well as a stun gun to bring him under control.
Since his April 26 arrest, Allen also has been booked three times on obscenity counts after he was accused of masturbating in view of jail guards.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.