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Ferriday murder suspects arraigned

VIDALIA — They didn’t utter a word in court Wednesday, but the four men arraigned in connection with an April 3 murder in Ferriday all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against them.

During their arraignment, the lawyers for Bryant LaKeith Bethley, Daniel Durans Butler, Reginald Butler and Andreas Marquez Cauley all entered the pleadings for their clients.

Bethley, Daniel Butler and Reginald Butler were all indicted by a Concordia Parish grand jury on charges of second-degree murder. Daniel Butler and Cauley were also indicted on charges of obstruction of justice.

The four men appeared separately before the court, all wearing prison stripes. Cauley and the Butler brothers — leaned forward in their chairs and read the printed indictments against them on the table.

Bethley — the alleged gunman in the shooting death of 25-year-old Reginald Green — came into the courtroom appearing relaxed and confident, nodding in agreement as his lawyer entered his plea.

Ad hoc Judge Glen Strong, sitting in for Division A Judge Kathy Johnson, set the date for a trial of motions for all four defendants at July 25.

During the proceedings, Bethley’s attorney Derrick Carson asked Strong to have a preliminary examination for the case.

A preliminary examination is a hearing in which the evidence for a case is brought forward and examined to see if there is enough probable cause to charge a defendant.

A motion for a preliminary examination was filed for Wednesday prior to the grand jury’s indictment, and Carson argued that it was the judge’s discretion whether or not to hear the examination.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Siddall said such an examination was unnecessary.

“The purpose of the preliminary examination is for the court to determine if there was ample probable cause for the case to go forward,” Siddall said. “That is the purpose of the grand jury.”

When Siddall said the preliminary examination would be a waste of the court’s time, Carson disagreed.

“I don’t think that the administration of justice is a waste of anybody’s time,” he said.

The judge ultimately sided with the prosecution.

“Twelve members of the grand jury decided to indict, so they decided there is probable cause — I am not going to second-guess the grand jury,” Strong said.

A fifth man, Kendrick Jones, has been arrested on charges of obstruction of justice, but he was not scheduled to be in court Wednesday.

Bethley is accused of shooting Green several times across the body and head with a .223-caliber rifle while the victim sat in a parked SUV in the 800 block of Alabama Avenue in Ferriday.

The Butler brothers were allegedly in the car Bethley used to leave the scene, and Cauley allegedly threw the gun used in the slaying into Black Bayou.

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