UPDATE: Amethyst Rathore, who tried to a kill LDWF Agent, with be eligible for parole

Local News

(1/17/2019) District Attorney for the Fourth Judical District Steve Tew spoke this morning to NBC 10. He detailed what the appeal means. According to Tew, this ruling is a technicality. He says Rathore still has to serve the 60 years for the attempted murder conviction, plus 20 years on charges in Ouachita Parish.

Below is our phone interview with D.A. Tew:

Original Story:

(1/16/2019) Judges with the Court of Appeal Second District released a ruling today which amended the sentence for Amethyst Rathore. She was convicted of trying to kill Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Agent Tyler Wheeler on January 7, 2017.

Amethyst Rathore shot Agent Wheeler four times during a traffic stop back in January 2017. She was found guilty of attempted murder, obstruction of justice, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of stolen property. All amounting to a total of 120 years without the chance of parole.

Today, judge with the Court of Appeal reviewed her appeal that her sentence was excessive, not allowing for parole. The Court of Appeal is allowing her to eventually be eligible for parole.

Below is part of the court’s opinion where they express why Rathore could not be prohibited from parole:

Our review of the sentences discloses that the sentences for
obstruction of justice, illegal possession of stolen things, and illegal
possession of a firearm were improperly imposed without the benefit of
parole. La. R.S. 15:529.1(G) provides that any sentence imposed under the
habitual offender statute “shall be at hard labor without benefit of probation
or suspension of sentence.” Parole is not included in the prohibition.
In Rathore’s case, only attempted first degree murder is punishable by
imprisonment without all three benefits. The sentences for obstruction of
justice, illegal possession of stolen things, and illegal possession of a firearm
were improperly imposed without the benefit of parole.
An appellate court is authorized to correct an illegal sentence pursuant
to La. C. Cr. P. art. 882(A), when the sentence does not involve the exercise
of sentencing discretion by the trial court. See State v. Haynes, 04-1893 (La.
12/10/04), 889 So. 2d 224. The correction of this error does not involve
sentencing discretion, as the imposition of the sentence without the benefit
of probation or suspension of sentence is mandatory in the habitual offender
statute.
Accordingly, we amend Rathore’s sentences for obstruction of justice,
illegal possession of stolen things, and illegal possession of a firearm to 
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remove the prohibition against parole eligibility, and to reflect that they be
served without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence.
CONCLUSION
For the reasons stated in this opinion, we amend the defendant’s
sentences for obstruction of justice, illegal possession of stolen things, and
illegal possession of a firearm by removing the prohibition against parole but
must be served without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. In all
other respects, the convictions and sentences are affirmed. 

You can read their full opinion here:

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