Mardi Gras parade murder trial resumes after suspect escapes from courthouse

Akeem Gailes (Source: Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office)
Akeem Gailes (Source: Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office)

PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) - After the man on trial for the Mardi Gras parade murder in Plaquemine escaped from the courthouse during the lunch break Thursday, the judge declared a mistrial. The prosecution appealed the judge's decision and the mistrial was thrown out. The trial will resume Friday at 12:30.

Akeem O. Gailes is on trial for the murder of 27-year-old Dewayne Smith of White Castle. Authorities say Gailes was the triggerman in the February 19, 2012 shooting. They say Gailes pulled up in the parade line, got out of his vehicle and shot and killed Smith.

During the first day of the trial Thursday, officials say during the lunch break, Gailes got away from officials, ran down three flights of stairs and out of the back door of the courthouse. He was found about 20 minutes later and three blocks away, hiding under a house.

Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi says it was a combination of human and mechanical error.

Gailes has been in the Iberville Parish Prison since February 29, 2012. He is on trial for second degree murder.

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