Trial date set in 1 case for accused killer Kenneth Gleason; DA will NOT seek death penalty

Trial date set in 1 case for accused killer Kenneth Gleason; DA will NOT seek death penalty

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A trial date has been set in one of the cases involving an accused killer facing charges in three separate shootings that left two men dead.

Kenneth Gleason, 23, of Baton Rouge, will stand trial for the first-degree murder of Donald Smart, 49, starting March 11, 2019. Judge Beau Higginbotham has set aside two weeks for Gleason's trial.

Smart was found dead near Louie's Cafe on Alaska Street on Sept. 14, 2017. He had been shot 10 times.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said he will not seek the death penalty in this case. Smart's family members did not want the death penalty pursued in the case. They cited the personal toll on them and religious beliefs as the reasons.

Gleason is also suspected in the shooting death of Bruce Cofield, 59, on Florida Boulevard on Sept. 12, 2017.

Cofield is likely just going be mentioned during the trial related to Smart's murder. Prosecutors are still trying to work out whether the two cases could be tried together. It will be determined down the line, possibly during a hearing scheduled for Dec. 5, 2018.

Gleason's lawyer said he needs the recordings of the Baton Rouge Police Department's interview with his client. He also wants to know what was found on his client's laptop.

Gleason is charged with attempted murder in a third shooting.

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