Man convicted of manslaughter gets new term

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery 15 years ago received an amended sentence Monday that will make

him eligible to get out of jail in less than a decade.

Mark Anthony Delafosse, 36, was

sentenced to 26 years on the count of manslaughter and 26 years on the

count of armed robbery,

to run consecutively, according to information from the Clerk of

Court. Under the new sentence, Delafosse will have to spend

25 years in prison before he is eligible for release.

Delafosse was transported from Allen Correctional Center for the hearing.

Delafosse, who was initially charged

with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty on Feb. 18, 1998 to shooting

20-year-old Christopher

Freeman during a robbery on Dixy Drive on Dec. 1, 1996.

Delafosse reportedly shot Freeman four times while robbing a dice game in which he had been playing. He reportedly left the

dice game to get more money, but upon returning with a gun, demanded the others put their money on the table.

The sentence was amended from an 80-year prison term.

Freeman’s family wanted Delafosse to serve at least 25 years in prison, District Attorney John DeRosier and defense attorney

Sharon Wilson said.

The Department of Correction recommended the 52-year sentence, which will make Delafosse eligible to get out after 25 years.

DeRosier was emphatic that his office only agreed to the amended sentence at the request of Freeman’s family.

“The victim’s family came to us and said ‘we are agreeable for him to serve 25 years,’ “ DeRosier said. “We were pleased we

were able to accomodate the family of the victim. If I were to make the decision independent of the wishes of the victim’s family, he would have spent the rest of his life in prison.”

Since entering prison, Delafosse has gotten a GED and taken several college courses that would result in time off his sentence,

Wilson said. But under the recommendation from DOC, he will not spend less than 25 years in prison, she said.

“He has done a lot of good things as far as his rehabilitative efforts,” Wilson said. “He’s done quite a bit and I think that

moved the family more than anything, that and being able to visit with him.”

Wilson called Freeman’s mother a “super human being.”

“(Delafosse) is very grateful to Christopher’s mother for giving him this kind of compassion because prior to this agreement

where all the parties sat down he would have had to serve 40 years before he would have been eligible for release,” Wilson

said.

Delafosse has tried to withdraw his

guilty plea several times. Carter allowed him to at least three times,

but each time the

Third Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it. Wilson said

Delafosse pleaded guilty under the assumption that prosecutors were

going to seek the death penalty.