LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The man three times convicted of murdering six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in 1992 is now going to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to get his conviction thrown out.
It was a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit that raised the possibility that Ricky Langley’s conviction could be thrown out-- when they concluded that since Langley was acquitted of first-degree murder of Jeremy Guillory, that meant he could not be convicted of any crime that required specific intent to kill.
“The lower court took a very liberal approach to create a doctrine that says when you get convicted of second-degree murder, when you were charged with first degree, the jury must have done away with specific intent. Right after, that same court said, courts should not try and second guess juries. They did exactly that,” said Calcasieu D.A. John DeRosier.
But DeRosier says the full U.S. Fifth Circuit got it right by upholding Langley’s conviction and saying the panel got it wrong.
DeRosier explained the flaws the judge who wrote the opinion found.
“The dissenters have brought up four points. The first one is confusing, the second point is imaginary, the third point is irrelevant and the fourth point is unfortunate. That is a good accurate summary of the misguided lower court opinion,” said DeRosier.
DeRosier expects them to refuse to review the case.
“I will be surprised if they do not deny the writ. But they may want to hear the issue simply because it’s something novel, something new in the law. But I’m very confident that the prosecution will prevail. I do not think Langley will ever get out of prison,” he said.
We reached out to Richard Bourke with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, who is handling Langley’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court, but we have not yet heard from him.
We will let you know whether the high court decides to review the Langley case.
Another child killer is seeking relief in the federal court system.
Jason Reeves appeals in the state system ran out, so he's in federal court trying to get his death sentence thrown out. Reeves was convicted of the rape and murder of Mary Jean Thigpen in 2001. He stabbed the toddler 16 times.
A 300-page appeal has been filed in U.S. District Court in Lake Charles.
Among other issues, Reeves claims he’s intellectually disabled which, if true, would make him ineligible for execution.
In state court, Judge Mike Canaday ruled against Reeves on that issue.