Defense asks for continuance of murder trial for man accused of killing 12-year-old

Defense asks for continuance of murder trial of man accused of killing 12-year-old
Talaija Dorsey (Source: St. James Parish Sheriff)
Talaija Dorsey (Source: St. James Parish Sheriff)

CONVENT, LA (WAFB) - The man accused of killing a 12-year-old girl was scheduled to be in court Monday for the start of his murder trial, but the trial was delayed because his defense attorneys asked for a continuance.

There will be a hearing on June 4 that will include motions of bond reduction and suppressing statements and evidence.

The continuance was granted on the defense's motion requesting the presence of FBI investigators. Assistant DA Robin O'Bannon with the 23rd Judicial District Attorney's office objected to the continuance, believing that it is a delay tactic.

John Celestine, 43, of St. James, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Talaija Dorsey. He was the fiancé of the girl's mother.

Dorsey's body was found at the edge of a sugarcane field in Vacherie on July 6, 2014. She had been missing since July 1.

Celestine was initially arrested on charges of felony obstruction of justice and false reports or communications the day after Dorsey was last seen.

Just days before her body was found, investigators announced they were focusing their search along the route that Celestine took to work, specifically LA 3127, the same highway where Dorsey's body was found.

The FBI, Louisiana State Police and several sheriff's offices began searching areas where Celestine may have been. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said Celestine also liked to fish and there is a large canal near where the girl's body was located.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Celestine could face the death penalty.

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