SHREVEPORT, La. – The trial of a Shreveport man charged with killing a couple then burning their bodies in their car has been continued.
Dewayne Watkins, 37, was supposed to go to trial on Oct. 18 on two counts of first-degree murder. He’s accused in the Nov. 8, 2018 deaths of Kelly Jose, 43, and Heather Jose, 32.
Caddo District Judge John Mosley Jr. signed an order Thursday continuing the trial based on the impact Hurricane Ida had on Watkins’ attorney’s ability to prepare. A new trial date was not set.
Attorney Sean Collins of the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana in New Orleans said he was unable to carry on normal operations at his office because of the extended power outage and having to make repairs for hurricane damage at his house.
Additionally, Collins said his co-counsel, Valerie Andrews, has accepted new employment so that will cause him additional preparatory work for the trial.
If convicted, Watkins faces a life sentence since the Caddo District Attorney’s Office is no longer seeking the death penalty.
The bodies of Kelly and Heather Jose were found in a burning car at a house on Penick Street in Shreveport’s Queensborough neighborhood. Police believe the couple was leaving Mall St. Vincent when Watkins approached them and asked to use Heather’s cell phone. Then they gave him a ride.
Watkins is accused of shooting Kelly Jose then forcing Heather Jose to drive to an ATM and get money before driving to the abandoned house, where she also was shot. Firefighters responding to a house fire found the couple's bodies in their car.
Watkins was arrested at a house two blocks away from where the couple was found dead. He was apprehended after a nearly six-hour standoff that ended when he went out the window and tried to run.