27th Judicial Dist. Judge James Doherty, Jr. has scheduled a Thursday, Aug. 2 hearing at which Dist. Atty. Earl Taylor will reveal whether he will seek the death penalty for Gautreaux’s alleged murder of Youric and Mary Ann Courville in their Eunice home in January 2006.
The initial deadline for that decision had been set as Aug. 12.
While that hearing is the next phase in that part of the case, investigation apparently continues into whether one or more other parties were allegedly involved in the killings.
Gautreaux, being held without bail, was arrested last fall after Eunice police and sheriff’s investigators from St. Landry and Lafayette parishes formed a task force to re-open the active probe of the murders.
Gautreaux and Quinten Ceasar were eventually charged. Ceasar was released after a judge ruled there was not probable cause to have arrested him in the first place.
Police have said the investigation into any connection between Ceasar and the case and other suspects in the case continues, though no arrests have been made.
Gautreaux’s arrest was almost six years after he allegedly stabbed the Courvilles in their Boudreaux Street home.
If Taylor seeks the death penalty, an extended calendar will begin, perhaps requiring as long as two years before trial is scheduled.
In capital punishment cases in Louisiana, a jury first decides guilty or innocence. It if convicts, the jury then hears a penalty phase of the trial and determines whether the sentence is life or death.