Frickey trial could be delayed as DNA argument drags on

Linda Frickey, 73, was carjacked and dragged to death in March 2022
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:49 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The trial date for four teens accused of carjacking and dragging 73-year-old Linda Frickey to death could again be postponed as arguments continue over independent DNA testing.

As it stands now, the trial is scheduled to take place beginning November 20.

The defendants -- 18-year-old John Honore, 17-year-old Briniyah Baker, and 16-year-olds Lenyra Theophile and Mar’quel Curtis -- are accused of second-degree murder in the killing of Frickey. The 73-year-old victim was dragged to her death during a carjacking in Mid-City on March 21, 2022. The defendants have pleaded not guilty and all four have been found competent to stand trial together.

Judge Kimya Holmes signaled frustration with both the state and defense attorneys during a pre-trial conference hearing Tues., Sept. 19, contemplating a gag order on proceedings.

Holmes had originally scheduled the trial for April 2023, but Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams’ office pushed for a continuance. When that continuance was granted, Holmes decided to move the trial to March 2024 to give defense attorneys for two of the suspects time to independently test fingerprint and DNA samples.

Williams appealed Holmes’ decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which ruled in June the trial would need to take place before the end of this year.

While Frickey’s family said they’re hoping the trial date remains the same, they expressed some skepticism a November trial date was feasible.

“Our understanding is if we go to trial now without them doing their own testing of the DNA, after trial they can file appeals on the conviction and things like that,” said Kathy Richard, Frickey’s sister-in-law. “They have no reason for the DNA, all they’re doing is a stall tactic.”

Defense attorneys for John Honore, the alleged driver, and Briniyah Baker are both arguing that the process to get DNA samples independently tested is a costly and lengthy one.

The state contends that the DNA has already been tested by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and that the defense continues to draw out the independent testing process as a stall tactic.

“All of this continuance and delays are just a game,” said Jinny Lynn Griffin, Frickey’s sister. “They don’t want the family to come. They want us to get tired. We’re not going to get tired. We’re going to be here.”

Another pre-trial conference hearing on the DNA issue has been scheduled for October 19.

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