Murder trials for two Tullos men charged following a double homicide in that town in April 2016 has been reset for Monday, September 25, according to LaSalle District Attorney J. Reed Walters.
Both trials had been scheduled for August, but was reset because the uncertainty of a witness from South Louisiana being able to make it for trial in late August, Walters said.
Joshua D. Sant, 27, and Austin W. Dyess, 20, are facing murder charges in the double homicide of Demond Rafeal Garner, 26, and Chelsey Nicole Copling, 19, both of Hawkins, Texas.
A LaSalle Grand Jury indicted Sant on three charges in late June last year. He was indicted for the second-degree murder of Copling, and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder of Copling. Sant was also indicted with having violated the Louisiana Hate Crimes statute in a third count of the indictment.
The Grand Jury indicted Dyess with second-degree murder of Garner, and with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder of Gardner.
Officers with the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Sant and Dyess on April 27, 2016 in connection with the deaths of Copling and Garner, after conducting an intensive investigation.
The bodies of the two victims were found after they were reported missing in Tullos on Monday, April 25. Several agencies were involved in the search for the pair and on Wednesday, April 27, the victims were found in a wooded area just south of Tullos.
In less than two hours after the bodies were discovered, Sant and Dyess were in the custody of LPSO as persons of interest in the crime.
By Friday, enough evidence had been uncovered to officially charge the pair in connection with the deaths. In June, Walters convened the Grand Jury, which returned the indictments against Sant and Dyess.