NEW ORLEANS -- Orleans Parish criminal court judge Frank Marullo made a rare appearance on the witness stand as attorneys for condemned killer Rogers Lacaze argued that Marullo should be recused from hearing appeals in the case.

Marullo presided over the trial of Lacaze and co-defendant and former police officer Antoinette Frank, both of whom are on death row in the 1995 triple murder at Kim Anh restaurant. Shot to death were police officer Ronald Williams and two teenage siblings who worked at the family-owned the restaurant.

Lacaze's appeal attorneys are trying to show that Marullo ordered the return of a gun to Frank weeks before the massacre, a conflict that should have disqualified him from the case. Marullo testified today that his signature on the order was forged and he had no knowledge of the gun.

Judge Lynda Van Davis gave attorneys two weeks to submit written arguments before she rules on the recusal request.

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