15 December 2019 :
Rogers LaCaze, Antoinette Frank's co-conspirator, no longer facing execution after resentencing. Rogers LaCaze, the co-defendant of notorious ex-New Orleans Police Department officer Antoinette Frank, was resentenced Friday to life without parole. He was previously on death row on capital murder convictions in a 1995 triple murder. His initial sentence called for him to be executed by lethal injection in 1996, but following years of appeal efforts, which included a 2017 review by the U.S. Supreme Court, he was back in Orleans Criminal District Court Friday. LaCaze, now 43, was Frank’s accomplice in the murder of 3 people, including Frank’s former partner in the force, Ronald Williams, and siblings Ha Vu and Cuong Vu, at a New Orleans East Vietnamese restaurant in 1995. The U.S. Supreme Court in October 2017 vacated a Louisiana Supreme Court Decision that upheld LaCaze’s 1st-degree murder convictions. The case was back in Orleans Criminal District Court Friday, when Orleans Criminal District Judge Paul Bonin resentenced LaCaze to life without the possibility of parole. The nation’s high court found the state’s high court failed to properly review a defense argument involving the possibility of bias on the part of now retired Orleans Criminal District Judge Frank Marullo. Marullo was questioned as part of the shooting investigation, but did not recuse himself from the case. At Frank's trial it was revealed the gun used in the crime, which Frank had reported stolen before the murders, came from the NOPD’s evidence and property room. Marullo’s signature appeared on a release order for the weapon to Frank from the unclaimed police evidence office. At the time, it wasn’t unusual for judges to sign over weapons from unclaimed evidence to officers for their personal use. Marullo denied it was actually his signature, however. LaCaze's attorneys raised additional arguments, noting he was 18 at the time of the crime and raising concerns about his mental competency. They argued he was impressionable and manipulated by Frank. LaCaze's attorneys filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the life without parole sentence on Friday. After Bonin resentenced LaCaze to life without parole, his attorneys asked again for Bonin to reconsider. Bonin denied that motion. Following the resentencing, LaCaze's mother said she will not stop fighting for his freedom and believes there is evidence proving his innocence. "The clothes he had on – the white tennis are still white today, "Alice Chaney said. The long sleeved shirt there was no powder ever found on his hands. No evidence, no blood, no nothing. And they want to give him a life sentence without parole? It’s like a puzzle. You can have a puzzle with 90 pieces – if one missing, something’s wrong with that puzzle right."