Thu, Mar 14, 2013
The teenager accused of fatally slashing the throat of an 8-year-old boy nearly three years ago dropped his insanity defense and pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder according to The Advocate.
Twentieth Judicial District Judge William G. Carmichael did not yet set a sentencing hearing for 19-year-old Trevor Reese in the death of Jackson “Jack” Attuso on June 10, 2010.
Reese was scheduled to go on trial Monday on a count of first-degree murder.
Because Reese was 16 when he attacked the youngster on a recreation trail in The Bluffs on Thompson Creek development, District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla was barred by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from seeking the death penalty against Reese.
When the death penalty is not given in a first-degree murder case, Louisiana law then requires an automatic life sentence without the benefit of parole.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year, however, that mandating a life sentence without any consideration for the possibility of parole is unconstitutional when the murder is committed by a juvenile.
Louisiana law also requires an automatic life sentence without parole for a second-degree murder conviction.
Because of the unique circumstances of Reese’s case, the outcome of a second-degree murder guilty plea is essentially the same as that of a first-degree murder guilty plea.
The hearing Carmichael set after accepting Reese’s guilty plea will consider whether Reese should be given a chance for parole at a future date, in accordance with the high court’s ruling.
The slain boy and a twin brother were born in Russia and adopted by a Clinton couple.
Sheriff J. Austin Daniel said Reese’s parents visited their son in the West Feliciana Parish Jail Wednesday night.