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Cypress Psychic Tells Court of Helping to Solve Murder

February 07, 1988|From the Associated Press

GRETNA, La. — A murder trial in this suburban New Orleans town took a strange twist last week when a California psychic testified that she helped crack a Louisiana homicide case last June from her home 2,000 miles away.

The trial ended Friday when the defendant, Michael Phillips, 22, of Kenner, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. But the highlight of testimony came Thursday, when Rosemarie Kerr took the stand to tell how she helped solve the murder of Andre Daigle of River Ridge.

With a jury of nine women and three men listening in the courtroom of Judge Clarence McManus, Kerr said she led Daigle's family to his missing truck near Slidell. The truck had belonged to the victim and been driven away by the two men later charged with Daigle's death.

Kerr, of Cypress, Calif., said that since then, she has communicated several times with the spirit of Daigle, a 27-year-old house renovator. She said Daigle has told her that his family should forgive the people who beat and strangled him before dumping his body in a swamp near Manchac.

Kerr said she has relayed Daigle's spirit message to the large Daigle family of River Ridge. "Some family members have not been exactly that forgiving," she testified.

Kerr, whose business card describes her as a clairvoyant, medium, psychometrist and psychic investigator, said she had never been to New Orleans before arriving this week for Phillips' trial.

Elise McGinley, of Fullerton, Calif., testified that after learning of her brother's disappearance in Jefferson Parish, she went to Kerr on the night of June 13 upon the advice of a co-worker.

Kerr said she closed her eyes and placed a finger on the picture that McGinley furnished. Introduced into evidence, it was a snapshot of Andre and his two brothers.

"I was moving across the picture for vibrations," Kerr testified. She said she then could pictured Daigle in his truck sitting beside a man with long blond hair. She said she saw water, a long bridge with railroad tracks and "I felt terrible pain in my head and a voice was saying, 'My head is killing me.' "

She also closed her eyes and moved a finger on a map of the state. "I felt a tingling and I stopped," she said. Her finger stopped near Slidell.

"I told Elise she should get someone to that area as quick as possible," she said.

Kerr testified that at the time she actually knew that Daigle was dead. "But I could not tell his sister then. I knew she would have to be prepared for the death," she said.

Charles Gervais, the other man found in Daigle's stolen truck when it was stopped by Pearl River police near Slidell, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison before Phillips' trial.

At the time of his arrest, Gervais told authorities he and Phillips killed Daigle as a test of nerves. They also needed to kill to get a vehicle and money for guns.

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