The Angola 5 cases involve the prosecution of five inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary who were allegedly responsible for the death of a security guard, Cpt. David Knapps, in the course of a 1999 escape attempt.
Three of the defendants have been tried and convicted; 2 were sentenced to death. A fourth has pled guilty in exchange for a life sentence. The fifth defendant, Barry Edge, is scheduled to go to trial this year.
In the case of the third defendant, David Brown, defense attorneys allege that prosecutors in the case withheld Brady evidence which has recently been discovered. The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that prosecutors Hugo Holland and Tommy Block from Caddo and Jefferson parishes, who are trying the cases for 20th Judicial District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla, had possession of a statement during the trials of Brown and Robert G. Carley that Brown’s attorneys allege “fundamentally altered the state’s theory of the case regarding the relative culpability” of the defendants.
Prosecutors interviewed former Angola inmate Richard Domingue, 45, on June 8, 2011, at Hunt Correctional Center, where Domingue told them that defendant Barry Edge had confided that he and inmate Jeffrey Cameron Clark had decided on their own to kill Knapps when the escape plan began to unravel.
Domingue’s statement about Edge’s purported confession undermines the state’s theory that Brown had the specific intent to kill Knapps. Judge Jerome Winsberg has yet to rule on the motion for new trial in David Brown’s case.
Holland, who is one of Louisiana’s most experienced capital prosecutors, was recently forced to resign from the Caddo Parish DA’s Office following his acquisition of M-16 rifles along with fellow Angola 5 prosecutor, Lea Hall.