Covering Louisiana

Aug 20, 2014 3:48 PM by AP

Convicted killer Derrick Todd Lee loses appeal

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Condemned serial killer Derrick Todd Lee has failed to convince a state judge that he deserves a new trial in the 2002 slaying of former LSU graduate student Charlotte Murray Pace.

The Advocate reports Lee's case now goes to the Louisiana Supreme Court. If justices also reject Lee's arguments, the case would move to the federal post-conviction relief stage.

District Judge Richard Anderson on Tuesday denied the 45-year-old St. Francisville man's state court petition for post-conviction relief. Anderson rejected, among other things, Lee's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel at the guilt and penalty phases of his trial in Baton Rouge.

Lee was found guilty in 2004 of first-degree murder in the May 31, 2002, killing of the 22-year-old Pace and sentenced to death. He also was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in the January 2002 killing of 21-year-old Geralyn Barr DeSoto, of Addis.

He is suspected of killing seven south Louisiana women between 1998 and 2003.

At the penalty phase of Lee's trial in the slaying of Pace, prosecutors introduced evidence of four other murders and an attempted murder that he allegedly committed. The other murders included Pam Kinamore, Gina Wilson Green and Carrie Lynn Yoder, each of Baton Rouge, and Trineisha Dene' Colomb, of Lafayette.

Prosecutors also believe Lee is responsible for the death of Randi Mebruer, of Zachary.

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