Trial begins for man accused in 2007 LSU grad student murders - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Trial to begin for man accused in 2007 LSU grad student murders

Chandrashekar Komma and Kiran Allam Chandrashekar Komma and Kiran Allam
Casey Gathers Casey Gathers
Casey Gathers (L), Michael Lewis (R) (Source: EBRSO) Casey Gathers (L), Michael Lewis (R) (Source: EBRSO)

The jury selection for the trial of one of two men accused of killing two LSU grad students in 2007 is set to begin this afternoon, but the judge is issuing a gag order for the lawyers involved.

Casey Gathers is charged with killing Candrasekhar Komma and Kiran Allam at the Edward Gay Apartments on the LSU campus on December 13, 2007. The gag order is in place for the jury selection phase only. Judge Chip Moore made that decision citing excessive media coverage of the case. Another man, Michael Lewis, is also charged in the murders.

Casey Gathers is the suspected triggerman in the shooting deaths of Komma and Allam.

The bodies of Komma and Allam were found late December 13, 2007 after what police called a home invasion of Allam's apartment on the edge of the Baton Rouge campus.

Komma and Allam, both international students from India, were shot in the head execution style in Allam's apartment. LSU Police say they received a call to report a medical emergency late Thursday night. When police arrived, they found the two shot, one bound with a cable.

Komma was a 31-year-old biology student from Kurnool and Allam was a 33-year-old chemistry student from Hyderabad.

Later, they learned there was a witness. Someone reported seeing three black men walking away from the crime scene and leaving in a car that was parked next to the apartment.

In 2008, 19-year-old Michael Jermaine Lewis and 20-year-old Casey Gathers were arrested in Vermilion Parish. The third suspect was identified as 19-year-old Devin Jamell Parker. Parker was arrested on an unrelated simple robbery charge by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

In the arrest warrant, police say, "Devin Parker admitted that he was present with the co-defendants at the apartment complex on the LSU campus where the two murders occurred." According to the warrant, "Parker described what occurred inside...including the fact that Casey Gathers shot both of the victims."

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