Conviction, sentence reversed in kidnapping case

Conviction reversed for Iowa man
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The conviction and sentence of a man accused of kidnapping an 8-month-old baby in 2020 has been reversed.

Marcel Dugar was sentenced in 2021 to 36 years in prison, but the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has reversed the sentencing due to “denial of self-representation.” Dugar’s case has been referred back to the 14th Judicial District Court.

Dugar, who was convicted of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and aggravated kidnapping of a child, sought to represent himself prior to his trial, but a district court judge denied his request.

Prosecutors argued Dugar’s goal was to have his original counsel removed. However, the appeals court noted Dugar continued to ask to represent himself at a hearing even after his original counsel had been removed.

Noting a Louisiana Supreme Court case that a defendant’s wish to represent themselves must be clear and unequivocal, the appeals court said Dugar’s actions showed that was clear in this case.

Read the Third Circuit’s opinion HERE.