Conviction Upheld In 2007 Shootings
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Dry Creek man accused of killing his father and wounding his mother in a 2007 shooting.
A state District Court jury in April convicted Joel T. Bailey on one count each of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/cseYHv) state District Judge Martha Ann O'Neal sentenced Bailey to life in prison for first-degree murder and 40 years for attempted murder.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the verdict on appeal this past week.
Louisiana Appellate Project attorney Edward Kelly Bauman had argued should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Trial testimony established Bailey was mentally ill, but state law requires defendants to prove they were unable to distinguish right from wrong when an offense was committed.
In the appeal court's opinion, Judge Shannon Gremillion wrote that "great weight" must be given to the jury's verdict, which shouldn't be altered "unless there is no reasonable factual basis for its finding."
Gremillion, citing the testimony of several witnesses, said such a basis exists and that the jury's finding must be upheld.
Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com