28 years after murder, family still waiting for justice

HOUSTON – A Houston family whose sister police say was murdered by a serial killer 28 years ago say it's being victimized again by the long wait for his trial.

"This is unbearable. It's unbearable for the family,  it's unbearable to go through this every single day," said Pat Louis.

Her sister, Birdell Louis was found strangled in April 1985 in Midtown Houston.

For decades there was no clue who killed her, until 2013 when Pat got a call from an HPD detective investigating cold cases.

"There was evidence this person had been at the crime scene and this person had more than likely murdered her," Louis said police told her.

HPD identified the man as Lucky Ward, who by then was labeled a serial killer and in jail charged with two murders linked to three others.  Police told Louis the fingerprint evidence they had on Ward wasn't enough for charges in Birdell's case.

"I  think she'd want me to be here fighting the fight for her," Louis said.

Each year since police identified her sister's alleged killer, Louis says she's gotten a phone call saying his trial has been delayed. The latest postponement coming two weeks ago.

"To get your hopes up thinking he'll have his day in court and we'll have our day in court and for it to just keep being reset year after year, I'm beginning to think justice will never be served," Louis said.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office says the delays are because Ward continually fires his attorneys and there is a shortage of death penalty case-qualified defense lawyers.

The D.A.'s office says it's now working with the administrative judge to intervene and get Ward's trial moved up from April 2017. 

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