Judge delays Lufkin murder trial

Joshua Handy mug shot courtesy Angelina County Jail
Joshua Handy mug shot courtesy Angelina County Jail

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County district judge has delayed a Lufkin murder trial after the defense attorney requested a motion for continuance Monday morning.

"It was finally all just going to come out in the open, what really happened that night and everybody was just ready to get answers and it just stopped and now we have to wait even longer," said Jernigan's friend Latisha.

Joshua Antwan Handy, 20, is accused of killing Jerrard Jernigan, 21, by shooting him in the back of the head.

Details on the case are not known, as Lufkin Police were able to use a grand jury indictment to charge Handy with murder. No arrest affidavit is available.

Handy's attorney, Michael Nguyen, said Handy hired him just about two weeks ago and he needed more time to interview witnesses for the case. Nguyen said he attempted to interview witnesses housed in the Angelina County Jail, but could not as the district attorney's office ordered the sheriff's office to not allow him to do so.

"It seemed as if the state was holding that or the state was directing the Sheriff's department to not let me talk to them," said Nguyen.

"I felt by asking the sheriff to not let him talk to people at random in the jail, it would give us an opportunity to notify their attorneys," District Attorney Clyde Herrington said. "It was not my goal to prevent him from talking to them, but it is my goal to notify their attorneys.

According to the motion, Nguyen attempted to interview the witnesses at the jail at 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

For those in the crowded courtroom waiting for answers, the delay just brought back a flood of questions.

Why would you do something like that?" said Latisha.  "It was just so sad no matter what was going on with them or what Jerrard could've done to him, it's no reason to kill a person."

Now, a jury will decide at a later date if Handy is the one to blame for Jernigan's murder.

The trial could be re-scheduled for the end of the April.

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