Appeals Hearing Held for Dalton Fletcher

Appeals Hearing Held for Dalton Fletcher

The possibility of parole for Dalton Fletcher, the Ouachita Parish teen convicted of killing his own parents, was debated in court on Monday.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KTVE/KARD) -- The possibility of parole for Dalton Fletcher, the Ouachita Parish teen convicted of killing his parents, was debated in court on Monday.

In Shreveport, the Second Circuit Court of Appeal heard the cases for Fletcher's parole or lack of parole.

Fletcher was originally found guilty of killing his parents back in 2010 and sentenced to life in prison.

Then, in October 2013, following a Supreme Court ruling, Fletcher was re-sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole.

This is the second time Fletcher's case has been before the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.

Gary Aycock represented Ouachita Parish in Monday's hearing.

Annette Roach with the Louisiana Appellate Project represented Fletcher. They claimed the trial court's ruling failed to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling that automatic sentences were unconstitutional.

During the hearing, Roach claimed the trial judge made a conclusion about Fletcher that he couldn't be rehabilitated.

Roach said Fletcher was 15 at the time of the crime. According to Roach, juvenile offenders should be treated differently and the trial judge couldn't know if Fletcher could be rehabilitated because they couldn't have known how Fletcher would react to long-term incarceration.

"There's a big difference between a 15-year-old offender and a 25-year-old offender and their understanding," Roach said at the hearing.

Roach referenced Miller v. Alabama, which holds that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that requires life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders.

Roach said Fletcher's history shows signs of abuse from his father, early alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts. Roach also said doctors gave testimony about two letters Fletcher had written to his sister and a female inmate which pointed to a possible antisocial disorder.

Aycock said Fletcher planned his parents' murder for 6-8 weeks because his parents were disciplining him by taking away his vehicle.

According to Aycock, Fletcher was not abused and was mostly given what he wanted in life.

Aycock also talked about Fletcher's letters, in which he claims Fletcher talked of how easy it was to kill his parents and how he should have made his mother suffer more.

"He should never be eligible for parole. He is one of those few cases," Aycock said at the hearing.

Following Monday's ruling, Roach made no comment to KTVE/KARD. They said they did not have a waiver from Fletcher to speak to or issue a statement to the press.

So far, Fletcher will still serve life in prison without the option if parole.

The three judge panel will render an opinion in 6-8 weeks. If the panel finds the lack of eligibility for parole unconstitutional, the matter will then go to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Fletcher was not in attendance for today's hearing. 

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