Attorney steps down in deadly Beauregard Town home invasion - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Attorney steps down from Beauregard Town murder case

Posted: Updated: Dec 14, 2011 11:23 AM
Nelvil Hollingsworth Nelvil Hollingsworth
Alexandra and Ariana Engler Alexandra and Ariana Engler
Aramis Jackson Aramis Jackson
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The attorney for a man accused of breaking into a home and killing a woman is stepping down from the case.

Nelvil Hollingsworth, one of the lawyers representing Aramis Jackson, said there is a conflict of interest.

Jackson is accused of shooting Alexandra Engler to death and seriously wounding her daughter, Ariana, who was 9 years old at the time.

The attack happened inside Engler's home in the Beauregard Town neighborhood of Baton Rouge in September 2010.

The public defender's office is down to three death penalty certified defense attorneys. They are all enrolled in death cases, which is painfully stretching the office's resources.

"We're facing increased demands upon our resources to do a more thorough job so the case isn't reversed," Hollingsworth said. "We don't have the resources."

In addition to Hollingsworth, Margaret Lagatutta and Fred Kronke are the only death penalty qualified lawyers. Accused criminals who cannot pay must have two attorneys to defend them. According to Hollingsworth, recruitment is the problem.

"We have little to offer them. No retirement, the pay is low and they'll be up a lot of nights. So, we're in a position that we have less death qualified attorneys than we had 10 years ago, 20 years ago," Hollingsworth explained.

Jackson's case will continue with new attorneys with Capital Area Indigent Defense. Johnny Adriani said he's not that concerned about who defends the man accused of shooting his daughter. He just wants to move on.

"I think the evidence is working against Mr. Jackson, but it's got to run its course," he said. "My goal is not what's going on in court. My goal is my daughter's progression and doing well. We are really doing well."

David Price and Mario Guadamud will be handling the case from now on.

Jackson's DNA was found on Engler's door.

District Court Judge Tony Marabella is overseeing the case.


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