Janet Myers, 26, was brutally murdered at her home in a low-crime neighborhood in Harvey, Louisiana on February 23, 1984. Her two year old son, Ryan, was found near her with a fractured skull resulting from a blow delivered by a baseball bat,

...but...

Also present in the house at the time of the murders were Myers' Husband, Kerry Myers, 28, and a friend of the Myers', William Fountanille, 27, who later claimed to have been carrying on an affair with Janet. However, both reported no recall of how exactly it was that Mrs. Myers came to be deceased, though both men suffered multiple stab wounds and the one a broken arm the night of her murder. They admitted to having fought throughout the entire night while and where Mrs. Myers died and her young son was beaten, with occasional breaks to watch T.V., and talk about their feelings. Neither remembered anything out of the ordinary happening to Mrs. Myers.

Late Indictments
Because of a lack of physical evidence, two juries refused to indict either Myers or Fountanille. It wasn't until May of 1986 that a third Grand Jury working with new evidence presented by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's office regarding clothing fibers, and by Herbert MacDonnel an expert on Blood-Splatter from New York indicted Fountanille, then 30, for first degree murder. Trial was then scheduled for September 22nd of 1986.

Hung Jury
On November 2nd, 1986, a hung jury was declared in Fountanille's murder trial. Fountanille explained that he had only been at the house to retrieve a baseball bat he'd left the night before when he claimed to have had sex with Mrs. Myers. Fountanille's defense successfully redirected enough suspicion toward Mr. Myers that the jury could not agree to a conviction.

Lawsuit
With mistrial declared and a new trial around the corner, Fountanille, with his defense attorney Nick Noriea Jr., filed a $25 million dollar suit against the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, claiming that gross negligence in the mishandling of evidence had lead to his indictment and trial.

Release
In January of 1987, Fountanille faced another trial, after a mistrial was called by virtue of a hung jury during his previous trial. This was pushed back to July of 1987, though he was released in June with a ruling from District Judge Alvin Rudy Eason ordering that, in accordance with a State Supreme Court ruling, that Fountanille was to be released within 30 days if he were not retried within that time period.
Joint Trial
However, before Fountanille could be retried under that indictment, another grand jury indicted both Fountanille and Myers under charges of conspiracy to murder both Janet Myers and Susan Fountanille, at the time of the indictment divorced from William and remarried, this trial was later postponed almost indefinitely
Eventual Conviction
Finally, under through the dual trial, in which one man requested trial by jury and another trial by judge, both men were convicted.

Prosecutors successfully claimed in the dual trial that both men were guilty and that they concocted a confusing story to baffle authorities and thus avoid conviction.

In separate statements, the men told authorities investigating the death that they fought in the Myers' house for 10 hours beginning on the evening of Feb. 23, unaware that Janet Myers was in a bedroom, bleeding to death.

The two-week trial was almost as unusual as the case itself. The men were tried simultaneously in the Gretna courtroom of state Judge Ernest V. Richards.

Jurors were escorted out of the courtroom frequently during parts of the trial that concerned only Myers.

Prosecutor W.J. LeBlanc, brought everyone back to reality, in his closing arguments when reminded jurors of a tour they had of the Myers' home, and of the closeness of the rooms.

"It is impossible they spent 10 hours in that house fighting off and on and did not see that woman," he said.
Sentencing and Aftermath

Myers, 33, was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and Fontanille, 34, was sentenced to the maximum 21 years for manslaughter by state District Judge Ernest Richards.

Book Controversy and Request to Overturn Conviction
In 1993, A book about the 1984 baseball-bat murder of suburban New Orleans homemaker Janet Myers prompted one of two men convicted of her death to ask for a new trial. William Fontanille, who is serving 21 years for manslaughter, says the book shows that information which would have helped his defense was withheld from his attorney in both his 1986 and 1990 trials.

State Court Judge E.V. Richards quashed the motion.

The book "Blood Will Tell: A True Story of Deadly Obsession" by Joseph Bosco of Algiers was released by William Morrow and Co. Inc.

The book alleged that former Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office homicide Detective Robert Masson gave Myers' husband, Kerry Myers, a copy of Fontanille's statement to police a month before Myers made his own statement.


Eventually Judge Richards threatened Bosco with incarceration lest he not hand over notes and other materials to the court

Joseph Bosco, who wrote "Blood Will Tell: A True Story of Deadly Obsession," said he would not turn over the materials as ordered by Judge E.V. Richard.

"I'm not giving up. I cannot give this information to them. As with any journalist, if I turn over my notes, no one will ever talk to me again," said Bosco, of New Orleans. Bosco's lawyer, Sidney Cotlar, argued that Bosco's materials are privileged under the state and federal constitution and a Louisiana law protecting reporters from having to reveal sources. Richard ruled that Bosco, as the author of a book rather than daily news copy, is not protected.

"I think it's somewhat ludicrous to say that I'm not a reporter, and then turn around and want my reporters' materials," Bosco said.
"If I'm not an investigative journalist, obviously they wouldn't want what I found through investigation."

Bosco's attorneys appealed Richard's ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
They will also asked for an injunction blocking Bosco's incarceration until the appeal is heard.

Resolution

Bosco won his injunction from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Eventually the court granted full, investigative privilege to the author.
stating that "Joseph Bosco, as an investigative book author, is constitutionally entitled to a qualified journalist's testimonial privilege, (and) be afforded such a privilege in further district court proceedings in this case."

Fountanille's request for a retrial was rejected. He is due for release in 2011.

sources:

The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - December 20, 1993 length: 924 words Details of latest author's thriller could land him in jail
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - As a teen-ager, Joseph Bosco was one of those guys who loved to bleed and sweat on the football field but looked forward to coming home at night and writing some heartfelt poetry. Bosco, now a New Orleans resident and author of a controversial new non-fiction thriller, still considers himself an artist - a poet, novelist and playwright.And he still mentions his days as part of Ocean Springs' powerhouse football squads of the early 1960s as a top...





The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - December 7, 1993 length: 319 words Source law applies, writer's lawyer argues
GRETNA - The author of a book on a bizarre murder should be able to keep a source secret because of a law designed to protect reporters, an attorney told a state appeals court Monday. But a lawyer for a convicted killer argued before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal that Joseph Bosco's rights are outweighed by his client's right to a fair trial.Bosco was ordered to jail last month by a judge after he refused to turn over tapes and answer questions about the case...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 18, 1993 length: 368 words 5th Circuit blocks order to jail author
GRETNA - Joseph Bosco, author of a book detailing a strange murder in this New Orleans suburb, was told Tuesday that he can stay out of jail while he appeals a court order that he turn over tapes and answer questions about the case. "He's very much relieved. Of course we realize its only a temporary reprieve. We hope it becomes permanent," said Sidney Cotlar, a lawyer for Bosco.Bosco is the author of "Blood Will Tell: A True Story of Deadly...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 11, 1993 length: 492 words Author faces jail unless he gives up notes
GRETNA - The author of a book on a bizarre 1984 murder must report to jail Wednesday if he refuses to give a court research materials pertaining to the case, a judge ruled Wednesday. But Joseph Bosco, who wrote "Blood Will Tell: A True Story of Deadly Obsession," said he would not turn over the materials as ordered by Judge E.V. Richard."I'm not giving up. I cannot give this information to them. As with any journalist, if I turn over my...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - October 25, 1993 length: 647 words Book prompts retrial request
NEW ORLEANS - A new book about the 1984 baseball-bat murder of suburban New Orleans homemaker Janet Myers has prompted one of two men convicted of her death to ask for a new trial. William Fontanille, who is serving 21 years for manslaughter, says the book shows that information which would have helped his defense was withheld from his attorney in both his 1986 and 1990 trials.State Court Judge E.V. Richards is to consider the motion Nov. 4.The book "Blood Will Tell: A...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - March 13, 1993 length: 208 words DEATHS
MYERS SR., THOMAS C. "T.C."Died 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 9, 1993, at Medical Center of Baton Rouge. He was 64, a native of Earl, Ark., and a resident of Baton Rouge. He was a laborer, stationary engineer and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Visiting at Gilbert Funeral Home, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Religious services at Donaldson Chapel at 7 p.m. Sunday, conducted by the Rev. Charles T. Smith. Dismissal at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Burial in Greenoaks Memorial Park. Survived by wife,...





The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 16, 1990 length: 566 words Sheriff defends keeping convicted murderer in Jefferson Parish jail
GRETNA -- Kerry Myers, sentenced to life imprisonment for beating his wife to death with a baseball bat, is confined at the Jefferson Parish jail instead of a state prison -- an arrangement defended Thursday by Sheriff Harry Lee. The arrangement, reported earlier Thursday by the Times-Picayune, developed because Myers got permission from Lee to stay in Gretna after a judge refused to approve it."He has less liberty in Gretna than he would have at Angola. I did what was right by...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - May 6, 1990 length: 248 words 2 sentenced to prison in 1984 murder
GRETNA -- Kerry Myers and William Fontanille, convicted of killing Myers' wife in 1984, got prison sentences Thursday in state district court here. Myers, 33, was sentenced by Judge Ernest Richards to life in prison for second-degree murder, and Fontanille, 34, was sentenced to the maximum 21 years for manslaughter.Richards denied motions by both men's attorneys for new trials.Myers and Fontanille were convicted on April 5 of the baseball bat slaying of Janet...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - May 4, 1990 length: 205 words Men sentenced in beating death
GRETNA -- A state judge rejected requests for a new trial and sentenced Kerry Myers and William Fontanille, convicted of the 1984 baseball bat murder of Myers' wife, to the maximum terms each faced. Myers, 33, was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and Fontanille, 34, was sentenced to the maximum 21 years for manslaughter by state District Judge Ernest Richards.Myers and Fontanille were convicted April 5 of the baseball bat slaying of Janet Myers, 26, on Feb.






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - April 7, 1990 length: 589 words N.O. man is convicted in '84 murder of wife
GRETNA (AP) -- A suburban New Orleans man was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday in the bloody 1984 beating death of his wife, and their former neighbor was found guilty of manslaughter in the same bizarre, 6-year-old homicide case. Kerry Myers and William Fontanille accused each other of the slaying of Myers' wife Janet after authorities answered an emergency call on the morning of Feb. 24, 1984, and found Janet Myers' battered body in a blood-spattered...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - April 6, 1990 length: 551 words Ex-neighbors convicted in bizarre 1984 slaying
GRETNA -- A Louisiana judge and jury convicted former neighbors Thursday in the bizarre 1984 slaying of the wife of one of the men. Kerry Myers, 33, was convicted of second-degree murder by state District Judge Ernest V. Richard. A jury which heard the case along with Richard convicted William Fontanille, 34, of manslaughter.Myers and Fontanille accused each other of killing Myers' 26-year-old first wife, Janet, after authorities answered an emergency call on the morning of...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - June 20, 1989 length: 207 words Court bars use of murder suspects' statements
NEW ORLEANS -- Statements made by the two suspects in the murder of Janet Myers, a Harvey housewife, cannot be used in their conspiracy trial, the state Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling Monday came in the 1984 Jefferson Parish murder case involving the victim's husband, Kerry Myers, and William Fontanille. The conspiracy trial can proceed, but without evidence prosecutors consider vital.Janet Myers was stabbed to death at her home point during an all-night fight between...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - June 20, 1989 length: 486 words Men's statements ruled out regarding woman's murder
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The statements of neither suspect can be used at the conspiracy trial of two men in the bizarre, unsolved murder of a suburban New Orleans housewife, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling came in a 1984 Jefferson Parish murder case involving Kerry Myers and William Fontanille. It means the conspiracy trial can proceed, but without the use of evidence considered vital by the prosecution.The victim was Myers' wife, Janet, who was stabbed to...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - April 28, 1988 length: 253 words Conspiracy trial postponed
GRETNA (AP) -- A conspiracy trial has been postponed until October for Kerry Myers and William Fontanille, former close friends who fought each other on and off through the night that Myers' wife, Janet, was beaten to death with a baseball bat. They were scheduled for trial this past Monday on charges that they conspired to kill their wives, Janet Myers and Susan Fontanille.Janet Myers was killed in her home in February 1984. Susan Fontanille, never attacked, divorced...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - March 3, 1988 length: 293 words Myers, Fontanille face joint trial in slaying.
GRETNA (AP) -- Once linked by friendship and later by their involvement in a bizarre murder tale, Kerry Myers and William Fontanille will be tried jointly on May 1 on charges that they conspired to kill their wives. Janet Myers, 26, was found beaten to death in a bedroom of her home in 1984. Her 2 1/2-year-old son, Ryan, was critically injured. William and Susan Fontanille were later divorced, and she has remarried.Both Fontanille and Myers admitted being in the house the night Janet Myers...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - June 13, 1987 length: 235 words Murder suspect freed from jail
A man accused of beating a Harvey housewife to death with a baseball bat has been released after being held for more than a year in the Jefferson Parish Jail, but authorities plan to retry him next month after an earlier mistrial. District Judge Alvin Rudy Eason ordered William Fontanille's release Wednesday in accordance with a state Supreme Court ruling last month that said if Fontanille were not retried within 30 days he was to be released. His first-degree murder trial ended in..






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - March 8, 1987 length: 182 words New trial slated
GRETNA (AP) -- William A. Fontanille will be retried on a charge of first-degree murder March 23, accused of bludgeoning a Harvey housewife with a baseball bat in 1984. Fontanille, 31, has been jailed without bond since Nov. 1, 1986, when a jury in Gretna was unable to reach a verdict in the slaying of Janet Myers, 26.The trial involved four days of dramatic and confusing testimony as the prosecution tried to prove that Fontanille beat her to death with an aluminum baseball bat on Feb. 23,...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 12, 1986 length: 477 words Suspect sues officers
GRETNA (AP) -- William A. Fontanille, awaiting a second trial on charges that he killed a Harvey woman, has filed a $25 million suit against the Jefferson Parish sheriff, sheriff's office and several deputies. The federal civil-rights suit filed Monday claims deputies did a poor job of collecting and preserving evidence used in Fontanille's recent trial, which ended with a hung jury."It is gross negligence that no one tried to make an identification of a...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 8, 1986 length: 284 words Man faces second trial in beating death
GRETNA (AP) -- William Fontanille will stand trial for a second time, possibly in January, in the death of a Harvey housewife, lawyers in the case said. Fontanille, who is being held here without bond, is accused of killing Janet Myers, 26, with a baseball bat on Feb. 23, 1984, in the living room of her rented home in suburban New Orleans.Last Saturday, a jury declared itself hopelessly deadlocked in the case, and the judge declared a mistrial.Assistant District Attorney Art Lentini,...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - November 2, 1986 length: 365 words Jury hung in murder trial
GRETNA (AP) -- Jurors failed to reach a verdict Saturday in the murder trial of William Fontanille, who took the witness stand in his own defense and denied beating a housewife to death with a baseball bat. Fontanille, formerly of Terrytown, stood trial last week for first-degree murder in the Feb. 23, 1984, death of Janet Myers, 26, who prosecutors said was beaten to death in her suburban New Orleans home.He also was accused of hitting Myers' son, Ryan, with the bat. The boy,...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - July 4, 1986 length: 319 words Suspect details night of death
GRETNA (AP) -- A man accused of murder told authorities he and the victim's husband fought, rested, watched television, talked about domestic problems and fought again while Janet Myers lay beaten to death in another room. The account of the night in 1984 came in a statement by William A. Fontanille, 30, who is accused of killing the woman. The statement, given to police on the night of his arrest, was released Tuesday. Trial is scheduled Sept. 22.Fontanille, a family friend,...






The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) - May 18, 1986 length: 466 words Jury indicts friend in woman's murder.
GRETNA (AP) -- More than two years after Janet Myers was beaten to death in her home, a third grand jury appointed to hear evidence in the case has indicted a former friend of the family for first-degree murder. The panel deliberated about an hour Friday after hearing two days of testimony and returned the indictment against William A. Fontanille, 30, of Hammond.The case has baffled authorities. Detectives and prosecutors suspected that either Fontanille committed the crime or that Mrs.