Jury votes Kevin Daigle should die

Jury votes Kevin Daigle should die
Jury selection is set to begin in the first-degree murder trial of Kevin Daigle, accused of killing Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent in 2015. (Source: Lafayette Parish Jail)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Throughout the trial two Kevin Daigles were portrayed. The one prosecutors called evil, who shot and killed State Trooper Steven Vincent. And Paw Paw Daigle, whose grandchildren testified they love. After scarcely an hour the jury agreed with the state that evil Daigle is the real one and that he should die.

As they emerged from the courthouse, Vincent's family expressed relief, gratitude and a sense that justice is served.

Iowa Police Chief Keith Vincent is Steven’s brother:

“Steven, who was a die-hard cop, would be very proud of everyone that had a part in bringing this evil, evil man and vindictive to getting the justice he deserved,” said Chief Vincent.

Steven's sister Miranda Vincent Priola read a statement from their mother Millie.

“I have cried for four years and have not been myself after this happened. He left my husband, my family, myself with sadness, grief and loss. I still have moments of despair and heartache I will never overcome. I pray no one else ever has to go through such a traumatic event of evil in their lives ever. We’re all thankful to see justice finally served,” she read. And Priola went on to thank God for justice and the prosecution team for there efforts.

Also at the courthouse, Charlie Bercier--one of four “Good Samaritans” who tried to render aid to Trooper Vincent and subdued Daigle.

"I’m happy with it (the verdict.) It's good to know that we're keeping him off the streets, sending a message to other people they're not going to get away with this kind of thing,” said Bercier.

He described the scene of the shooting in 2015 as “violent, horrific and not something you ever want to see happen to anybody,” said Bercier.

Bercier described his effort as one of four hands that helped hold Daigle until help arrived.

“He was unruly, he yelled a lot of curse words, he threatened us. Everyone that you would expect from someone trying to get away from a situation like that. He was just a nasty guy,” said Bercier.

It was exactly what the state wanted-- Daigle convicted of first-degree murder and a death verdict.

Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier hopes it sends a message...

"All law enforcement whether it's state police, deputies, city police, our first responders, our firefighters, they need to know when they walk out that door they are not by themselves. That they have somebody who has their back,” said DeRosier.

Lead prosecutor Lea Hall says Daigle deserves death.

"That verdict was based on evidence of extreme cruelty, extreme violence, just senselessness from one human being to another and that's out there. And our community's answer, our community has said this is not tolerable,” said Hall.

Prosecutors know they will face appeals for years, but predict the conviction and sentence will stick:

"I think that the appellate process is entirely too long, too many bites at the same apple by the defendant. We need to speed up that process. We tried to do that in the legislature int he past, we’re going to try to do it again,” said DeRosier.

Though the jury decides the punishment, Judge Clayton Davis formally sentences Daigle on October 9, after receiving a Capital Case pre-sentence report from the Department of Corrections.

The jury went out at 3 p.m. and returned within an hour.

Final testimony and closing arguments were held in Lake Charles today, due to the threat of severe weather in Lafayette.

Defense attorney Kyla Romanach made an impassioned plea, trying to persuade the jury to come back with life in prison for Daigle’s. After the verdict, she did not wish to appear on camera.

Below are notes from todays testimony and closing arguments. Notice the Tweets on top are the most recent.

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