DeRidder man convicted of kidnapping will be resentenced on drug charges

Published 12:38 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is ordering a change to part of the sentencing for a DeRidder man convicted of aggravated battery, second-degree kidnapping, armed robbery and several drug charges.

Jeffrey Lynn Cooley, 46, was found guilty by a jury in 2019 for beating and holding at knifepoint another man whom Cooley had identified as an informant to Louisiana State Police.

Court records show that on Aug. 6, 2017, Cooley worked with others to lure the victim to Cooley’s home where the victim was held against his will, beaten and robbed in retaliation for his status with LSP.

The victim was ultimately able to escape and seek medical attention for his injuries. When law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cooley’s home a few days later, officers found numerous drugs inside the residence, leading to the home being identified as a distribution point for illegal narcotics.

A 33-day search went on for Cooley before he was eventually arrested in Calcasieu Parish.

In November, he was sentenced by Judge Martha Ann O’Neal to life in prison on all eight counts he was convicted of, but according to a ruling made by the appellate court, that sentencing did not appropriately apply to all convictions.

The Third Circuit affirmed the convictions and mandatory life sentences for Cooley’s charges of aggravated battery and three of the eight possession with intent to distribute charges, but vacated the sentences for four possession charges, remanding those back to the 36th Judicial District Court for a new sentencing.