All 17 judges on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal will be part of a hearing today in New Orleans regarding a May 2018 ruling in which the second-degree murder conviction of Ricky Langley was overturned.
The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office and the Louisiana Attorney General's Office asked the 5th Circuit to hold the hearing, with the D.A.'s office specifically asking that all judges hear their appeal.
The decision to overturn Langley's conviction by a three-judge panel created a scenario in which he could have been released from Angola, where he has been serving his sentence since being convicted in 2009 of killing a 6-year-old boy near Iowa, La.
Judge Robert Wyatt ordered Langley held without bond following the 5th Circuit ruling.
Langley said multiple times in videotaped confessions after the murder of Jeremy Guillory that he molested the boy, strangled him, and put his body in a closet.
District Attorney John DeRosier and then-Assistant District Attorney Carla Sigler together filed a motion asking the court to order Langley be held without bond while appeals were pending, saying the 5th Circuit ruling wasn't final because the state could seek a rehearing or a review with the U.S. Supreme Court.
A motion from the state said, in part, "The defendant is a confessed rapist and murderer and should not be released on bond at this time, when the relief he was granted is not yet final."
Langley, a convicted sex offender at the time of the boy's death, was convicted three times for the killing of Guillory on Feb. 7, 1992.
DeRosier said after the 5th Circuit ruling that his office would "vigorously" fight to keep Langley behind bars.
He said the Langley case was one of the most serious cases he has ever had and that Langley is a huge danger to the public.
"We cannot turn him loose on society because I think, given the chance, he would definitely kill again," DeRosier said.
Rick Bryant, a career prosecutor with the District Attorney's office, was the lead prosecutor on the Langley case but is not involved with it any longer because he left the D.A.'s office to go into private practice with Sigler.
While acknowledging that Langley's crime was "horrific," the 5th Circuit, in a 40-page opinion, said, in part, that at Langley's third trial, and over a double jeopardy objection, the prosecution tried Langley for second-degree murder after he had been acquitted of first-degree in the same case at his second trial.
The 5th Circuit said, "although we do not relish adding a new chapter to this terribly unfortunate story, the federal habeas statute and the Double Jeopardy Clause afford Langley a right to relief."
Wyatt was also the judge at Langley's third trial and like two juries before him had done, he rejected Langley's insanity defense and found him guilty. He imposed the mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole on his second-degree murder conviction on Dec. 10, 2009.
Langley will remain behind bars until all of the state's appeals of the 5th Circuit decision are exhausted.