Derrick Todd Lee, Baton Rouge Serial Killer
Indictments and Allegations
Derrick Todd Lee's life is very different now that he lives in one of the two isolation cells in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. According to Josh Noel of The Advocate, the other isolation cell prisoner is Booker T. Williams Jr., accused of murder.
Lee has been separated from the general prison population – standard procedure for high-profile sexual crimes – to ensure that he is not assaulted by another prisoner. Like other prisoners in isolation cells, Lee gets 25 minutes out of his cell each day. "He gets no television, but has access to this paper [The Advocate] every day." Every 60 days he is allowed three hours in the prison recreation yard. Lee can have visitors, but only three of them and they can only come on Wednesdays and speak to him by phone.
Noel reports that Lee's most frequent visitor is his mother, but other family members have come as well.
Lee's case, which has been estimated to require some $800,000 in defense expenses, has created a burden for the overworked and understaffed Public Defender's Office.
In early September, 2003, prosecutors revealed that some witnesses claimed that they saw Lee at the scene of the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace on May 31, 2002. According to Josh Noel of The Advocate, Chris Villemarette and Karen Savoie told a national television program that they saw Lee outside Pace's home the day she was killed. However, the description of the man they saw does not clearly fit Derrick Todd Lee.
On Wednesday, September 24, 2003, Lee was formally indicted with the first-degree murder of Trineisha Dené Colomb of Lafayette, LA. Around the same time, DNA tests failed to show a link between Lee and the murder of Connie Warner of Zachary, LA.
On Wednesday, October 1, 2003, Angela Simoneaux and Adrian Angelette of The Advocate reported that Lee was formally charged with the attempted murder and attempted rape of a Breaux Bridge woman. Lee is looking at a sentence of 100 years for those crimes if convicted.
On October 14, 2003, Bruce Schultz and Kevin Blanchard of The Advocate wrote that Lee pleaded innocent to the first-degree murder charge in Lafayette concerning the death of Trineisha Colomb. He also pleaded innocent to the attempted rape and murder of an unnamed Breaux Bridge woman.
Lynne Marino, mother of Baton Rouge victim Pam Kinamore, commented on the testimony of the Breaux Bridge woman whose skull had been fractured, "She wants everyone to know how vicious he was. They didn't expect her to live."
According to Marlene Naanes of The Advocate, a St. Francisville woman had given Lee's name to authorities months before the last two victims were slain. The woman had been stalked by Lee for two years. Lee's name had been passed on to the task force, but the implication is that it was not followed up on because the task force was only looking for a white man.