Manslaughter suspect appears in court

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

VIDALIA — The defendant in a August 2008 manslaughter case was in court Wednesday.

Crystal Mae Gordon was present in Seventh Judicial District Court for a trial of motions, a legal proceeding in which the parameters of the trial and evidence to be used in it are determined.

Gordon is charged with manslaughter in the Aug. 9, 2008, killing of Alex Promise Jr.

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Wednesday’s proceedings were brief, and attorneys said evidence submitted for trial would include the autopsy of the deceased and the results of a DNA test of blood lifted during the police investigation of the killing.

The case was set for a status hearing Nov. 18.

Gordon was originally charged with second-degree murder, but when the case was bound over to a Concordia Parish grand jury, the bill of information the grand jury returned was for manslaughter.

Second-degree murder is defined as the killing of a human being with specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, while manslaughter is defined as a homicide committed without intent to cause death or bodily harm.

At Gordon’s initial magistration in August 2008, CPSO Investigator Bobby Sheppard said Gordon told investigators she and Promise had been having an altercation when he told her to take him to Ferriday.

The suspect reportedly told investigators that she armed herself with a kitchen knife before leaving the house because she was afraid, and that when they reached 100 Woodmont St., her grandmother’s residence, the altercation escalated and Promise hit her, Sheppard said at the hearing.

Sheppard also said investigators noted a mark on Gordon’s head.

She reportedly told investigators that Promise grabbed her as she tried to exit the vehicle, and that she had stabbed him in self-defense, Sheppard said at the hearing.

Promise died of a single stab wound to the chest.

Investigators later found the knife in the mud behind Gordon’s grandmother’s house.

Gordon is currently out on a $275,000 bond.