State of Louisiana vs. Woodrow Karey

The state Supreme Court determined in July 2017 that a Lake Charles man, Woodrow Karey, Jr., accused of fatally shooting pastor Ronald Harris, 51, during a revival service at Tabernacle of Praise in 2013 will be charged with manslaughter instead of second-degree murder. The defense, Todd Clemons & Associates and the Johnson Firm, filed a motion in August 2014 to quash the second indictment — claiming that the District Attorney’s Office had reneged on an agreement to “live with” the results of the first grand jury as long as the defense allowed witnesses, including the defendant’s wife, to testify. Siding with the defense, Judge Clayton Davis tossed out the second indictment. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal then overturned the ruling, sending the case to the state Supreme Court. In its ruling, the high court said there was adequate evidence supporting the defense’s claim that the prosecution had agreed to abide by the initial grand jury results. It ruled that the prosecution, having gained an “unfair advantage” by using the defense’s witnesses, unjustly withdrew from the agreement.