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Three Krystal Murder Suspects Appear For Arraignment

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Three people accused of killing two employees at Krystal restaurant last year appeared in court Wednesday for arraignment on three charges of capital murder.

Prosecutors haven't decided whether they'll seek the death penalty against Cassandra Eldred, Jordaan Creque and Ezekiel Gholston for the killings.

Meanwhile, one defense attorney is already trying to set rules on how the case is tried.

While all three defendants were in court with their attorneys, only two entered pleas on the charges.

At issue are the fatal shootings of Jeffrey Graff and Jesse Aguilar on August 24, 2011.

Jordaan Creque appeared with his attorney first and listened to the indictment of three counts of capital murder against him.  Then, his attorney entered pleas of "not guilty" and "not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect".

Cassandra Eldred appeared next, heard the indictment, then pleaded "not guilty". 

However, things were more complicated for Ezekiel Gholston.  His attorney, Brian White, filed a motion for Gholston to be given "youthful offender status," so Gholston did not enter a plea.  That motion follows several others attorney White has filed in the case since May.

These filings include:

  • A motion for being apprised of whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty
  • A motion to apply heightened standard of review assuming the state seeks the death penalty
  • A 24-page motion outlining what prosecutors should not do during litigation
  • A motion for cautionary instructions, acknowledging photographs of the victims and the crime scene are anticipated as being bloody and distasteful, and should be shown to jurors only to illustrate a point about the case, not to inflame passion

The mother of Jesse Aguilar sat next to the widow of Jeffrey Graff in the courtroom.  Neither made any comment after the hearing. 

No trial date has been set.

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