|Derrick Todd Lee|
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The judge presiding over condemned serial killer Derrick Todd Lee's latest appeal has refused to have evidence presented at Lee's 2004 capital murder trial sent to a private lab for examination.
State District Judge Richard Anderson on Thursday denied the defense motion after prosecutor Dana Cummings objected. The Advocate reports that he evidence dealt with the 2002 slaying of Charlotte Murray Pace. Cummings said the integrity of the chain of custody of the evidence must be maintained in the event the evidence is needed in a future proceeding.
Cummings argued that if Lee's attorneys want their experts to examine the evidence, it should be done at the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office.
Anderson agreed and gave Lee's attorneys until Feb. 7 to do so.
Lee is suspected of killing seven south Louisiana women between 1998 and 2003. He was convicted and sentenced to death in Pace's murder. He also as convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in the 2002 killing of Geralyn Barr DeSoto, 21, of Addis.
The appeals process is painful for the families of victims linked to Lee.
"A lot of waste of time. These attorneys are making all kinds of money off these appeals," added Sterling Colomb, the father of murder victim Trineisha Dene' Colomb, of Lafayette.
"Ten years is a long time," Sterling Colomb said. "I'm just tired of it."
At the penalty phase of Lee's Baton Rouge trial in the killing of Pace, prosecutors introduced evidence of four other murders, including that of Colomb, and an attempted murder that he allegedly committed.
Ann Pace said she thought the case had reached a "conclusion" when Lee, of St. Francisville, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 2004 in the slaying of her daughter, but that was "only the beginning."
"I could not have imagined this process going in," she said.