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Death row inmate alleges evidence withheld

  |   Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A Louisiana death row inmate's federal lawsuit is aimed at forcing the release of documents he contends could prove his innocence.

Rogers Lacaze, 36, convicted of a triple murder at a New Orleans restaurant during a 1995 robbery, accuses state and local officials of withholding evidence favorable to his case. He says in court documents state prosecutors and New Orleans police suppressed information supporting his claim it was the brother of his co-defendant who carried out the killings, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

Jurors found Lacaze guilty of first degree murder in the deaths of police officer and restaurant security guard Ronald Williams II and siblings Cong Vu and Ha Vu. A separate jury also convicted rookie police officer and security guard Antoinette Frank.

Frank and Williams were police partners and provided security at the restaurant.

Lacaze and Frank each received death sentences.

Lacaze confessed to being at the restaurant while Frank shot the victims, but later said police beat him to get the admission. He now claims it was Adam Frank Jr., Antoinette Frank's brother, who was the accomplice, the newspaper said.

Lacaze's suit contends New Orleans police withheld evidence at his trial, including FBI information regarding Adam Frank's prior arrest record and an alleged report that witnesses heard Adam Frank "bragging about killing a New Orleans police officer," court documents state.

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