"Frenzy of violence": Prosecutor describes vicious attack on CO
Inmate Barry Edge slammed a hammer into the side of CO David Knapps' head in 1999
By Steven Ward
ST. FRANCISVILLE — Barry S. Edge initiated a “frenzy of violence” with other inmates at Angola when he slammed a hammer into the side of correctional officer David C. Knapps’ head, prosecutors told a jury Tuesday.
Prosecutor Tommy Block called Edge a leader and a major participant with a pivotal role in the death of Knapps during a botched escape attempt by six inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in 1999.
Edge is the last of five defendants to go to trial in the so-called Angola 5 case.
One of Edge’s defense attorneys, Steven Lemoine, told jurors that Edge did not intend to kill Knapps during the doomed Dec. 28, 1999, escape attempt.
He said weapons that Edge and the other inmates had were for intimidation purposes only.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Edge in his first-degree murder trial. The trial started with opening statements Tuesday afternoon.