Trial begins for 2007 murder

Ernie Jacobs, Brian Sanders
Ernie Jacobs, Brian Sanders

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Ernie Jacobs is on trial for the murder of Jonathan Dixon back in November 2007. Police say, back then, Jacobs and Brian Sanders attempted to rob a store on Fairfield's avenue.

Jacobs allegedly shot Dixon several times killing him. He was arrested not long after on November 22, 2007. His case has never made it to trial - until today. District Attorney Hillar Moore says this case has had it all.

"It's been unique," says Moore. "It started off as a death penalty case. We had death qualified lawyers that came in to defend this defendant. There is also a co-defendant that went through the motions in a death penalty case. [It] takes a long time. Generally we run around 300 motions per first degree murder."

Defense attorney Bo Rougeau does not believe the lengthy delays will hurt his client. "It's really not an issue for us. The facts won't change there's several people involved. The big question is, which liar are you going to believe?" said Rougeau.

In fact, Rougeau is confident he can convince the jury his client is not guilty.

"It's one of the very few cases where you actually have a defense. So it should be an interesting case all the way around, explains Rougeau.

Part of the problem is this was for a long time a death penalty case, which requires a lot more work. When the decision was made to take the death penalty off the table things got moving.

"We had to appoint new lawyers for them. In the process we had some health issues for different people that postponed it again. And most recently a co-defendant pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify against the last defendant so it's taken some time we surely hope things go a lot faster in most cases."

The trial is expected to last a week. Jury selection began Monday. The co-defendant, Brian Sanders, will testify against Jacobs. Sanders has already pleaded guilty in the case.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.