A Louisiana contractor accused of killing a worker who filed a compensation claim against him years ago is now too sick with cancer to stand trial, his attorney said.
A grand jury indicted Tommy Francise in 2016 for the murder of two workers, one killed in 1991, and the other in 2002, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Now with stage IV cancer, Francise's trial was postponed once this summer already, and his lawyer asked that the case be postponed indefinitely.
The judge said no.
"We have a motion filed asking for his release based on his health, but the judge denied it," said Jarrett Ambeau, the Baton Rouge attorney representing Francise. "His diagnosis was looking better but now it's looking worse."
Prosecutors said that in the 2002 case, Francise found that a worker named George Barrett had filed a workers' compensation claim against him. Francise entered Barrett's home and shot him in the head, authorities determined.
The sheriff's office began investigating after Barrett did not show up to testify against Francise in the compensation claims case, the newspaper reported. Francise's capture for the crimes was featured on a season of the crime series "Killing Fields," in which the Iberville Parish Sheriff's detectives investigated the two cold cases.
A new trial date has not been set, but could be this fall, prosecutors said.
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