The trial of Grover De’Aundre Cannon, accused slayer of Shreveport police officer Thomas LaValley, set to have begun this week, has been pushed back yet again.
The Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana, attorneys for Cannon, requested a continuance from Caddo District Judge Ramona Emanuel, citing the recent unrelated slaying of Shreveport Police Officer Chatéri Payne, age 22, on January 9, 2019, as well as other pretrial publicity, as compromising the selection of an impartial jury. Jury selection had been set to begin in the Cannon trial Monday, January 14, 2019. The state had prepared subpoenas for more than 40 witnesses and was prepared to go forward.
Judge Emanuel granted the request for a continuance, which was strenuously opposed by the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office. No new trial date was set.
The Defense also asked for a change of venue, also due to the death of Officer Payne. No decision was made regarding that. A hearing on that motion should be held in the next few weeks.
The last time the trial was pushed back, in October 2018, was at the request of the family of officer LaValley, due to a scheduling conflict that would have prevented attendance by many of his relatives.
The October trial date was set after a defense continuance of an earlier August 20, 2018, trial date due to reasons that were filed under seal with the court.
Prosecutors in the case are Edwin L. Blewer III, William Edwards and Ron Christopher Stamps.
Cannon, 31, is accused of the Aug. 5, 2015 slaying of LaValley, 29, who was shot and killed in the Queensborough neighborhood after responding to a report of a prowler. He joined the Shreveport Police Department in 2011. He had previously worked at KTBS TV in Shreveport as a sports reporter.
Cannon faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder for LaValley’s death.