Passaniti murder-for-hire trial delayed by appeal - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Passaniti murder-for-hire trial delayed by appeal

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Linda Kate Passaniti, 58 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) Linda Kate Passaniti, 58 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
Passaniti is the daughter of Loretta Luttrell, who was previously charged in the case but ultimately found incompetent to stand trial. Passaniti is the daughter of Loretta Luttrell, who was previously charged in the case but ultimately found incompetent to stand trial.
Erick Dewayne Crain, now 31, pleaded guilty to 1st degree murder. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office) Erick Dewayne Crain, now 31, pleaded guilty to 1st degree murder. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Tina Vanmoerkeque, now 47, pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence in January 2012. Tina Vanmoerkeque, now 47, pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence in January 2012.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

The Caddo Parish trial of a woman accused in the murder-for-hire of her stepfather has been put on hold for the day, pending a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

58-year-old Linda Kate Passaniti is charged with second degree murder in the death of 73-year-old Ernest Luttrell. He was found shot to death inside his Keithville home in July 2010.

Prosecutors say Passaniti and Luttrell's wife arranged for his murder in order to gain access to his money, allegedly hiring a Whitman, Erick Crain, and enlisting the help of family friend Tina VanMoerkeque.

Both Crain and VanMeorkeque have since taken plea deals and agreed to testify against Passaniti in the case. Loretta Luttrell was declared incompetent to stand trial.

At issue is Judge John Mosely's denial of a statement allegedly made by Loretta Luttrell to be entered into evidence by the defense.

On Wednesday, Passaniti's attorney filed a writ with the Second Circuit Court of Appeal, asking for a review of Judge Mosely's ruling.

Jury selection wrapped up late Tuesday. The trial could resume on Thursday. Passaniti faces life in prison if convicted.

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