Attorneys discover infidelity and jealousy as harbingers of the deadly capturing of the Lafayette boxer | dishes
Leeosha Dugas said she was “nervous as hell” when she passed Carlos Toby and “his boys” in the parking lot of a nightclub on Johnston Street in September 2018 to pick up the truck that belonged to her sister’s boyfriend.
Minutes earlier, she had seen boxer Brandon Broussard defeat Carlos Toby in an unauthorized fight in The District while people huddled. Leeosha Dugas said she tried unsuccessfully to pull Broussard away from Toby. It took help from her two brothers and others to strip the other man’s boxer off.
Leeosha Dugas said she then drove Broussard’s truck to the back of the nightclub, where she had instructed her sister Lashea Dugas and Broussard to get off to make sure the two men didn’t cross paths again that night.
Two weeks later, Broussard would be ambushed when he opened the door to his truck in the driveway of his girlfriend’s house. Lashea Dugas’ four-year-old son was unharmed in the vehicle as Broussard was bleeding from several gunshot wounds next to him.
When the first responder arrived 10 minutes later, the boy was in the driver’s seat.
Leeosha Dugas would go to the crime scene later that night at her sister’s request to take Broussard’s children to the hospital to be with their grandmother when Lashea Dugas and her 4-year-old were discussing detectives at the Lafayette Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, Leeosha Dugas said she called Carlos Toby on a FaceTime video to ask him why he came out to do it.
“He said, ‘I’m not out there,'” Leeosha Dugas said under oath in a courtroom in the 15th judicial district on Friday.
This is a fragmented timeline of events gathered before a jury last week during the first murder trial against Lafayette Parish since the coronavirus pandemic began. It is an unusual case in which two defendants appear in a single trial.
The process started on Thursday after three days of jury selection and is expected to take at least a few days longer.
Brothers Carlos Toby and Shavis Toby have been detained without ties since their arrest in 2018 in connection with the Broussard murder. The brothers were each charged with second degree murder and criminal conspiracy for second degree murder. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors Roya Boustany and Alisa Gothreaux argue that Carlos Toby was the thinker and his brother Shavis Toby was the actor who carried out the October 2018 shootout in retaliation for the nightclub fight two weeks earlier.
Defense attorneys Todd Clemons and Kevin Boshea, who represent Carlos Toby and Shavis Toby respectively, agree that Broussard’s murder was gruesome, but say their clients were not behind it. They argued that the state’s evidence was circumstantial, pointed to inconsistencies in the statements of the Dugas sisters, and questioned law enforcement about their investigative techniques.
So far, the jury has heard opening statements, listened to emergency calls and viewed bodycam recordings of the first officer on site to respond. They also heard testimony from several state witnesses, including the first responder, detectives, and Broussard’s friend and sister.
Since second degree murder is threatened with life imprisonment, the jury must reach a unanimous verdict for each of the two brothers.
Lashea Dugas received a text message from Carlos Toby on September 28, 2018, shortly after she and Broussard arrived at The District parking lot to celebrate their birthday with family and friends.
It was not uncommon for Lashea Dugas to receive texts from Carlos Toby, the father of one of her children, although she said he never had a relationship with the child. Carlos Toby regularly asked Lashea Dugas, who works in the hotel industry, about discounted-rate rooms reserved for family and friends of hotel employees when he was in the area. Although Carlos Toby is from New Iberia, Lashea Dugas said he has lived in Texas for the 12 years she has known him.
Lashea Dugas said she rarely had sexual relationships with Carlos Toby that were “not meaningful”, including in July 2018 when she was with Broussard. After a dispute over the incident in July, Lashea Dugas said she and Broussard had agreed to keep dating and not see any other people.
Broussard, who knew Carlos Toby was the father of his girlfriend’s child, got angry when he saw Carlos Toby’s text message two months later on the night of the birthday party, Lashea Dugas said. She said it was this anger that fueled the fight that later took place at the nightclub.
There was another birthday party, this time for Leeosha Dugas’ child, the anniversary of Broussard’s death on October 13, 2018.
Broussard came separately to the birthday party in Cecilia to surprise the child with a dog as a present. He later played with his girlfriend Bourrée’s family that evening, the Dugas sisters said.
After losing money playing cards, Lashea Dugas said she left the family reunion with three of her four children and Broussard’s two children for her house on Grossie Lane.
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Her other child wanted to stay with Broussard, who stopped on the way home to get ice cream for the then 4-year-old boy.
Lashea Dugas arrived home at 10:34 p.m. and received a call from Broussard 20 minutes later at 10:54 p.m., according to her testimony to an officer who was taped on a bodycam video. She can be seen in the video checking her cell phone for the exact times.
Broussard’s call lasted only 13 seconds. She said Broussard asked her to unlock the door. Later, when Dugas was questioned by a defense attorney, Dugas testified that Broussard had a key to her house and did not need her to unlock the door. She also said Broussard’s voice didn’t sound rushed or different when he called.
Lashea Dugas told an officer she heard gunshots when her son broke the door. Dugas later testified that she immediately closed the door and then opened it again to see Broussard running in the grass and a black-clad man running down the street towards Carmel Drive, also known as the Breaux Bridge Highway.
The woman said she called 911 and stayed inside until a LPSO representative arrived on site at 11:05 p.m.
“I’m afraid to go outside,” Lashea Dugas told an emergency call center. Later she yells into the phone: “Brandon!”
Full Jean Paul Auzenne from the Sheriff’s Office was the first to arrive at the crime scene. When questioned by defense lawyers, he said it was his first murder case.
The jury watched about 45 minutes of three hours of his bodycam recordings in court on Thursday afternoon.
Broussard was laying down the blood-streaked grass when Auzenne arrived at the scene. The dark, shaky video was sometimes difficult to see as Auzenne and other deputies worked to secure the crime scene and assist Broussard until paramedics arrived at the scene. Broussard later died in a Lafayette hospital.
Soft sobs from Broussard’s family pervaded an otherwise silent courtroom during long, muted sections of the bodycam video. Auzenne subsequently testified that it was the officers’ department policy to mute their body cameras at each crime scene when discussing matters unrelated to the matter at hand.
Defense attorneys questioned this practice and also asked Auzenne why he didn’t interview two children who may have witnessed the shooting, based on a low-level conversation heard on the Bodycam video.
“The man was black,” said a child in Lashea Dugas’ house.
“He was wearing a black jacket,” said another child.
Defense lawyers wondered how long it took MPs to secure the scene, whether anyone was looking for a black man that night, and why no one could find a voluntary declaration form that Auzenne Lashea Dugas had given to fill out the night of the shooting.
Auzenne can be seen in the bodycam footage giving Lashea Dugas the form and repeatedly asking the woman to fill out the form. He would later testify that she had never filled out the form and that he had forgotten after spending three hours on the scene. Auzenne said he was unaware that another officer picked up the form later during the investigation.
The defense also asked a detective in the case why photos of a suspicious vehicle did not have a timestamp or a murder investigation number.
“I don’t know if this was recorded last week … or five years ago,” Boshea told Andrew Esterly, who works in the Subway Crime Scene Unit for the Sheriff’s Office and the Lafayette Police Department.
Judge Royale Colbert was speaking to the trial jury on Friday afternoon when one witness left his courtroom and another entered.
He asked the 12 jurors and two proxies to stand, stretch, and hold out for another 30 minutes. The jury had spent nearly two days carefully watching and listening to the evidence in the murder trial, and the speed at which they had to process information accelerated after a 20-minute lunch break. Five law enforcement witnesses took the stand in the final hour of Friday, answering rapid-fire questions from state and defense lawyers. The whirlwind of witnesses allowed prosecutors to enter multiple surveillance videos and investigative photos as evidence, which are likely to be viewed by the jury when the court resumes on Monday.
After the jury was fired for the day, Colbert again ordered each page of the gallery that the family and friends of Broussard and the Toby brothers were sitting on to refrain from discussing the process flow on social media.
Bailiffs escorted Broussard’s family and friends through the main exit of the courtroom on Friday. A few minutes later, they released friends and family of the Toby brothers through the back door of the courtroom.
“We love you,” said one person to the defendants, who were still in the front of the courtroom when the group got up to leave. The rest joined in, waved and smiled at the brothers as they repeated the phrase: “We love you.”
The process will continue on Monday morning.