48 Hours episode Please Don't Tell will premiere on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 10 pm ET on the CBS channel (Image via CBS)

CBS 48 Hours: What is Karen and Sharon Sanders' secret, and how are the twins related to Keith Laborde?

To hide a twisted family secret between twin sisters Karen and Sharon Sanders and their older cousin Keith Laborde, an innocent black man from Louisiana was wrongfully charged and made to spend half his life behind bars.

The story of this unfortunate Louisiana man Vincent Simmons, who turned 70 this year, is the subject of CBS 48 Hours' upcoming episode Please Don't Tell. The episode is set to premiere on the CBS channel this weekend, May 21, 2022, at 10 pm ET. Here is the official synopsis of the true-crime episode:

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"Twin sisters say they were attacked by a Black man. Are they telling the truth or hiding a family secret? 48 Hours contributor David Begnaud reports."

TW: This article contains instances of s*xual assault.


CBS' 48 Hours: All about the twins Karen and Sharon Sanders, and their mutual secret with Keith Laborde

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Vincent Simmons, a man in Louisiana spent 44 years in prison for rape, is released after a judge ruled he did not get a fair trial “No Evidence”. In 1977, it took minutes for a jury of 11 White men and 1 Black woman to convict Simmons. He waited 43 years for a fair trial.

A fabricated tale of misinformation resulted in the wrongful arrest of Vincent Simmons in May 1997. As reported in their testimonies during the trial, Sharon and Karen Sanders agreed to help clean the residence of their first cousin Keith Laborde on May 9, 1977. While the twins were 14 years old back then, Laborde was 4 years older than them.

On their way back home, Keith allegedly agreed to give Simmons, a complete stranger, a lift home. As far as their testimonies go, Simmons produced a gun and locked Keith in the trunk while raping Karen. He then allegedly locked Karen in the trunk while raping Sharon about six miles out of Marksville on a remote stretch of Little California Road. He eventually released them after threatening them.

The charge was stale from the start as Laborde was a racist man five decades ago who would never converse with or ride with a black guy like Simmons, and Little California Road in 1970s was the heart of Klan territory, where no black man would venture for fear of being slaughtered.

This photo has me near tears this morning. The look on #VincentSimmons face as attorneys tell him that after 44 years of being an innocent Black man wrongfully convicted, having his freedom stolen, & unjustly incarcerated... He is going home. #InnocenceMatters
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With the verdict of an all-white jury, Simmons spent 43 years of his life behind bars trying to prove his innocence and attempting to free himself 16 times in the process. It was in 2020, when Simmons was being represented by New York Attorney Justin Bonus, that the truth was finally out in the open.

Dana Brouillette, Keith Laborde's cousin, was tracked down by Justin Bonus and interviewed subsequently and that was where she revealed the secret she had been holding on to for years.

Keith Laborde had told her at a bar long after the trial that Vincent Simmons was never with him or the twins on Little California Road that night, according to a signed affidavit between the two. Instead, Dana revealed that Laborde admitted to having consensual sex with Karen while locking Sharen in the trunk. Laborde's neck was also scratched, according to her testimony. She further said,

"He had gone down Little California Road and he locked Sharon in the trunk and he said the sex between him and Karen was consensual. He said but the other one was a little hellcat. …That's the one that put the scratches on his neck."
#GramFam #HBCU Vincent Simmons was sent to Angola State Penitentiary for over 40+ years for a crime he did not commit and NOT ONE HBCU has talked about it! Its black history month and we're in Louisiana, so learn some Louisiana culture and roots! Say his name til they him mane!
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Brouillette told the private investigator that she believes Laborde and the twins made up a story about a black man in order to explain Laborde's neck scratches and save themselves from a scandal.

Karen Sanders confessed publicly for the first time in an interview with CBS News later that she and Keith Laborde had consensual intercourse long before the alleged event with Vincent Simmons when she was young and he was a teenager. However, she claims that had nothing to do with what Simmons was accused of doing.

Keith, on the other hand, denied Karen's claim and stated that he never had any sexual relations with her. They had simply "played around like children," as per his interview with the showrunners of 48.

While the three young children used their privilege as white people and told a fabricated tale of lies to convict a black man in 1977, they still hold him responsible in every capacity, even after he was set free earlier this year in February 2022. After Vincent was set free on February 14, 2022, Karen told CBS with no remorse,

"He went in guilty. He is guilty now and guess what, he will die guilty. So, I am happy. I got 44 years."
BREAKING: Vincent Simmons is a free man.
He just walked out of Louisiana State Penitentiary after serving 44yrs for a crime he insists he did not commit & a crime that a judge said today he did not get a fair trial for.

Read story here: lockhartvmedia.com/post/louisiana…

#VincentSimmons

Don't forget to catch Please Don't Tell this weekend on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 10 pm ET on the CBS channel and on Paramount+.

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