Defendants in Darren Sharper rape case want separate trials

Defendants in Sharper rape case want separate trials
Erik Nunez (Source: NOPD)
Erik Nunez (Source: NOPD)
Brandon Licciardi (FOX 8 Photo)
Brandon Licciardi (FOX 8 Photo)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - When he admitted guilt under terms of a plea agreement, former Saints player Darren Sharper agreed to testify against his two co-defendants. Former St. Bernard Parish deputy Brandon Liccardi and Erik Nunez are accused in the overall conspiracy to drug and rape women in 2013 and 2014.

Liccardi and Nunez appeared in federal court Thursday and both filed a motion to sever, meaning they want separate trials. Attorneys for both men say it's clear their clients will be pointing the finger at each other in order to prove that neither was part of a conspiracy.

Liccardi’s attorney told the court that the government has over 17,000 text messages between Sharper and the defendants, and he believes the government’s case is based mainly on those texts. Attorney Ralph Capitelli pointed to a series of texts exchanged on the morning of Sept. 23, 2013.

According to the motion, Liccardi texted Sharper:

"Man the thing is u let Eric beat"

The motion shows Sharper acknowledged that "beat" means to have sex with someone.

Sharper responds: "Did you see him beat"

Liccardi replies: "yes"

Sharper texts: "Damn. Thought he was (expletive)"

Brandon replies: "I no for a fact that she ain't doing that if she ain't (expletive) up"

Capitelli said the text messages support Liccardi's defense that he was not involved in the conduct that night.

Erik Nunez's attorney told the federal judge that she plans to accuse Liccardi of lying.

Liccardi's attorney is also asking for an evidentiary hearing because he's "concerned about a video" being submitted as evidence during the trial. Capitelli told the court that when the video was made, Sharper wasn't even in town, and there's been no allegation of sex by the woman in the video. Capitelli did not elaborate about what exactly was on the video.

The federal judge listened to the arguments from the defense and the prosecution but did not make a decision.

Liccardi and Nunez have pleaded not guilty to the state and federal charges against them. Their trial is set for July 11.

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