Perkins sentencing postponed until Friday - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Perkins sentencing postponed until Friday

Bryce Perkins, the man convicted of the 2009 murder of Marine Daniel Gueringer was supposed to be sentenced this morning. But it was postponed after the defense raised several issues before the court.

Perkins stands convicted of second degree murder of Gueringer after an appeal court decision that reinstates the jury verdict reached in February 2011. That verdict was not unanimous and does not have to be in Louisiana where a 10-2 vote is sufficient.

However, it's an issue raised by Defense Attorney King Alexander. "The legal traditions in which we get our right to trial by jury has always been unanimous jury. It has always taken only one dissenting juror to create a hung jury and a mistrial. Why is it different in Louisiana and Oregon that it takes three jurors to hang a jury instead of one. This makes a huge, significant difference," said Alexander.

However, Prosecutor Rick Bryant disagrees and does not expect the U.S. Supreme Court to change its position. "We have no concern, that's been litigated for twenty years. That's typical defense attorney motion that never has any merit. That's been shot down by both the Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court of Louisiana which allows non-unanimous verdicts in certain cases. Doesn't apply to death penalty cases, but in other cases it applies. So, that's been litigated in the past. It's sort of a frivolous motion but I guess defense attorneys feel an obligation to file it in every case," said Bryant.

He says it's up to individual states whether they require a unanimous verdict.  "All states could do the same thing Louisiana does. I don't know why they don't. It's very difficult. Can you imagine, in certain areas of the state and country where you have to have unanimous every single time, you know, one person holds out which leads to more jury trials, more hung juries, more delays. I think we have a better system that those states that require unanimity because you can't find people unanimous on anything these days," said Bryant.

Another issue brought up by the defense --whether the jury found specific intent to kill as required. "What exactly happened immediately prior to the firing of the shot. Was it just the accused leveling the gun in a particular direction and discharging it? Was it something that happened, as many witnesses testified, kind of in the struggle and pandemonium?" asked Alexander.

Bryant says the jury's verdict of second degree murder means they did find Perkins had specific intent to kill. "The jury knew exactly what they were doing because they were instructed by the court as to what they had to find in order to return this verdict," said Bryant.

Judge Ron Ware denied all motions and indicated sentencing will go forward on Friday.

Defense attorneys also gave the court a letter from a juror in the case that apparently makes vague suggestions of possible impropriety involving jurors in the case.  But at this point neither the state or defense has enough information to say if the allegations have merit. The issue may be raised in post conviction appeals.

Meanwhile, Perkins is set to be sentenced to life in prison at 9 a.m.  Friday.

Copyright 2012 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Dry and warm weekend for now, but a wet week ahead

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Dry and warm weekend for now, but a wet week ahead

    Saturday, May 27 2017 5:39 PM EDT2017-05-27 21:39:19 GMT
    Rain expected on Memorial DayRain expected on Memorial Day

    Through tonight we will see mostly cloudy skies. No rain is expected despite the cloud coverage. The winds are still blowing out of the south and will continue to blow 5-10 mph overnight. This will keep our temperatures warm. Overnight, we will struggle to get out of the 70s once again. Over the rest of the weekend, we are still not expecting any rain for our Sunday. Although there is a 20% chance for some afternoon showers. We will have mostly cloudy skies when it is not raining.

    More >>

    Through tonight we will see mostly cloudy skies. No rain is expected despite the cloud coverage. The winds are still blowing out of the south and will continue to blow 5-10 mph overnight. This will keep our temperatures warm. Overnight, we will struggle to get out of the 70s once again. Over the rest of the weekend, we are still not expecting any rain for our Sunday. Although there is a 20% chance for some afternoon showers. We will have mostly cloudy skies when it is not raining.

    More >>
  • Lake Charles opens time capsule buried 50 years ago

    Saturday, May 27 2017 3:16 PM EDT2017-05-27 19:16:59 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    On Friday Mayor Randy Roach helped pull out history - 50 years worth, to be exact.

    In 1967 a time capsule was buried in front of historic Lake Charles City Hall, and many had different ideas of what could be buried inside. 

    More >>

    On Friday Mayor Randy Roach helped pull out history - 50 years worth, to be exact.

    In 1967 a time capsule was buried in front of historic Lake Charles City Hall, and many had different ideas of what could be buried inside. 

    More >>
  • Summer reading fun underway in Calcasieu Parish

    Summer reading fun underway in Calcasieu Parish

    Friday, May 26 2017 11:02 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:02:13 GMT
    (Source: Calcasieu Parish Public Library)(Source: Calcasieu Parish Public Library)

    The Calcasieu Parish Public Library annual summer reading program is underway. The kick-off celebration was held at Prien Lake Park. It included registration, face painting, kite flying, bird house building and even Clifford the Big Red Dog. The reading program runs from now until July 7.

    More >>

    The Calcasieu Parish Public Library annual summer reading program is underway. The kick-off celebration was held at Prien Lake Park. It included registration, face painting, kite flying, bird house building and even Clifford the Big Red Dog. The reading program runs from now until July 7.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly