Posted: Oct 10, 2013 3:50 PM by AP (PHOTO: MGN ONLINE)
MONROE, La. (AP) - A Ouachita Parish teenager convicted in December 2011 of killing his parents was denied parole eligibility Thursday at a court hearing in Bossier Parish.
Dalton Fletcher was 15 when he committed the murders. He was sentenced in 2012 to two life sentences without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
But a state appeal court threw the sentence out after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned state laws automatically imposing mandatory life sentences without possibility of parole on juveniles convicted of murder.
The News-Star of Monroe reports that the Supreme Court ruling left open the possibility that individual judges could still choose to sentence juveniles to life without parole in individual cases.
Charles Kincade, Fletcher's attorney, said he plans on appealing Thursday's decision. "We're very disappointed in the decision," he said.
Fletcher shot his parents to death in their home. The act was described in graphic detail in a 2012 jailhouse letter attributed to Fletcher and obtained earlier this year by The News-Star.
According to court documents, Fletcher threatened to kill his sister at the time of the murders, but instead took her cellphone and forced her into her bedroom.
The next morning, Fletcher went to school at West Ouachita High School where he was arrested. The shotgun believed to be used in the crimes was found in his mother's car, which he had driven to school.
"If ever there was a person who deserves life without parole, it is Dalton Fletcher," Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones said Thursday. "I think as long as he lives, he will be a danger to the community."