Frickey trial delayed until 2024, judge rules

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 4:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Three teen defendants who were to stand trial for murder this week in connection with the dragging death of carjacking victim Linda Frickey are entitled to more time to prepare their defense, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday (March 4).

The state’s high court lifted a stay on proceedings but ordered Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Kimya Holmes to set a new trial date “that will afford the defendants additional time to respond to the state’s DNA and fingerprint evidence.”

Holmes set the new trial date for March 18, 2024. Both sides agreed to the new date, a spokesperson for Holmes said.

Frickey’s family members were frustrated and heartbroken upon learning that they will have to wait for justice.

“In my opinion, we fight for the criminals in New Orleans. We don’t fight for the victims,” Frickey’s sister Jinny-Lynn Griffin said. “I was really hoping to have things moving and done with. The criminals keep coming back with motions after motions after motions to try to change things, continue trials, anything they can do to get away with it.”

Holmes, a former defense attorney, last month barred DNA and fingerprint evidence from the trial, ruling that the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office did not turn over the critical evidence in a timely manner to the defense teams representing 18-year-old John Honore and 16-year-olds Briniyah Baker and Mar’Qel Curtis.

“You have the video. You have the evidence. You have everything. We got the DNA put back in. What do you need a continuance for? Why do you need to test the DNA? The DNA was tested by the Louisiana State Police,” Griffin said.

Holmes’ decision to ban the DNA and fingerprint evidence was overturned on March 29 by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, a decision the state Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday was correct.

A fourth defendant -- 16-year-old Lenyra Theophile -- has been deemed incompetent to stand trial and is receiving mental health treatment. If her competency is restored, she likely will stand trial on her own. All four defendants are being tried as adults and have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

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District Attorney Jason Williams says he’s disappointed about the new court date, calling Holmes’ decision unacceptable. He says his office will appeal the decision.

Williams’ office released the following statement:

“Over our strenuous objection, Judge Kimya Holmes set this case for trial on March 18, 2024; that’s an extra 11 months that the Frickey family has to wait for justice to be secured in their case. With that, we are extremely disappointed with this decision as Judge Holmes has, once again, failed to follow the law in this matter which states that a criminal case shall be set for trial upon motion of the State. On the court record, Judge Holmes indicated a completely full trial calendar through August 2023 as well as a continuing legal education course in September 2023 as her reasons for this prolonged court date. As a result, our prosecutors requested an October 2023 trial date and it was denied by the judge.

This is unacceptable; the Frickey family has a right to a prompt conclusion of this case and justice for this horrific crime to their loved one. We plan to seek appellate review as soon as possible to obtain the trial date we requested.”

“We need to get justice. We need to put people behind bars quickly,” Griffin said.

The Frickey family says closure cannot come fast enough for them, constantly thinking about the horrific way their loved one lost her life.

“There’s just some lines you do not cross,” Frickey’s sister-in-law Kathy Richard said. “What they did to Linda, they crossed every line.”

“They didn’t stop. They chose this. They kept dragging her. She was screaming and begging for life,” Griffin said. “Yes we are mad. We are definitely mad. We need this to go to trial. We need to put this to rest. We need to start forgiveness within our family.”

The Frickey family says they will be back in court on May 19, when Theophile returns to court to decide if she has received enough treatment to be deemed competent for trial.

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