A jury heard closing arguments Tuesday in the trial of a Baton Rouge man who was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2003, but the panel will not begin deliberating his fate until Thursday due to the aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas.
About an hour after 19th District Judge Tiffany Foxworth-Roberts told jurors to return to the downtown courthouse on Wednesday morning for her final instructions on the Sedrick Hills case, the court’s presiding judge Wilson Fields gave , announced that the building was due to a storm on Wednesday.
The wrench that Nicholas threw in the suitcase is nothing new to a suitcase that has been involved in interesting developments for years.
Hills, now 46, was formally charged in 2014 after DNA linked him to the sexual assault and found guilty of violent rape and another sexual assault charge in 2018 by a unanimous jury from East Baton Rouge Parish. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
But last year the US Supreme Court used a New Orleans case to outlaw split-jury verdicts, and Hills’s convictions and judgments were overturned and given a new trial – the trial that began last week.
For the second time in as many years, a convicted Baton Rouge rapist was retried – this time because the jury’s verdicts …
Hills had previously been awarded a new trial by original trial judge Trudy White after a black juror alleged that a white male juror made racist comments about Hills, who is black. These allegations were later found not to be credible and the judge’s verdict was overturned.
An ad hoc judge who later sentenced Hills raised his eyebrows when he told Hills that he would consider reducing his 12-year sentence if he paid his victim $ 150,000 and she agreed. The victim later said outside the courtroom that she was not interested in receiving any money from Hills.
Retired Judge Bruce Bennett later stated in a court file that he was merely attempting to empower the victim to “control their own economic fate and obtain compensation for this reprehensible and life-changing act.” Stressed that the choice was hers alone, Bennett said the option was neither a form of bribery by the defendant nor extortion by the victim.
The 33-year-old woman testified on Monday that Hills raped her at the age of 15 in 2003 after driving her home from a Sunday service.
A woman testified on Monday for the second time in three years that a man from Baton Rouge raped her in 2003 at the age of 15 after taking her away …
The attorney does not identify victims of rape and other sex crimes without their consent.
Hills’ chief attorney, Robert Tucker Sr., called the DNA evidence “Walmart science” on Tuesday and also told the jury that the woman’s testimony was not credible.
“We hope that the truth will prevail,” he said after the court.
Prosecutor Sonya Cardia-Porter argued before the jury that the DNA evidence in the case did not lie.
“Science has finally confirmed what it reported in 2003. Science has caught up with him,” Cardia-Porter told the jury.