Judge orders confessed child killer held without bond

Lisa Addision

By Lisa Addison

laddison@americanpress.com

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, in a decision that revolved around issues of double jeopardy, has reversed the second-degree murder conviction of Ricky Langley who was convicted three times for the killing of a 6-year-old boy near Iowa, La.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier on Tuesday told the American Press the decision was a “bad ruling.”

“One of the biggest things I have an issue with about the ruling is that it appears they (5th Circuit) chose several items from federal law and state law and mixed and matched them to reach this conclusion,” DeRosier said.

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.

He said the District Attorney’s Office is taking a look at several options including appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

“We are also going to ask the Supreme Court to keep him locked up until this issue is completely resolved,” DeRosier said. “He isn’t going anywhere right now.”

A convicted sex offender at the time of the murder, Langley confessed to the crime and told investigators about killing the boy and putting his body in a closet.

In a 40-page opinion, the 5th Circuit 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 murder in the same case at his second trial.

While acknowledging that Langley’s crime was “horrific,” the 5th Circuit also went on to say that “the verdict from Langley’s second trial necessarily determined that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Langley acted with specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm.”

It went on to say that, “Hence, the State is constitutionally barred from prosecuting Langley for any crime having that same issue as an essential element. Langley’s second-degree murder conviction from his third trial is therefore invalid.”

Like two juries before him had done, Judge Robert Wyatt rejected Langley’s insanity defense at his 2009 trial and found the defendant guilty of killing Jeremy Guillory on Feb. 7, 1992.

Wyatt imposed the mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole on his second-degree murder conviction on Dec. 10, 2009, and he has been serving his sentence at Angola.

At that time, Wyatt said the common thread in all of the doctors’ diagnoses of Guillory was pedophila — an impulse illness, a serious personality disorder. It is a non-psychotic diagnosis, not a major thinking disorder, not schizophrenia, and not manic-depressive illness, Wyatt said.

There was also testimony at trial about a so-called “dream diary” that Langley reportedly kept in which he fantasized about luring children into the woods so he could molest them and then kill them.

Then-prosecutor Rick Bryant during the trial called Langley a “ticking time bomb” and said the defendant “devoured Jeremy to satisfy his sordid lust.” Bryant claimed Langley targeted the boy for sexual purposes and then killed him.

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.”””

Ricky Joseph Langley, then 26, is escorted into the Calcasieu Correctional Center by Donald “Lucky: DeLouche, then-assistant chief of detectives for the sheriff’s office, and Don Dixon, then-special agent with the FBI, in February of 1992.

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