BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man found guilty of injecting his girlfriend with a deadly dose of heroin is going to prison for the rest of his life.
19th Judicial District Judge Don Johnson handed Jarret McCasland, 27, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder. His relatives disagree with the penalty. Jarret's father, Douglas McCasland, left court frustrated.
"It's been a stressful two and a half years here," Douglas McCasland said.
In November, an East Baton Rouge Parish jury unanimously found Jarret McCasland guilty of giving his girlfriend, 19-year-old Flavia Cardenas, a lethal dose of heroin.
"He's not a dealer, never was a dealer. It's amazing how the prosecutors can put a handle on somebody with no evidence," Douglas McCasland said.
Moments before the judge read his sentence, Jarret made the following statement before the court.
"I am an innocent person. Y'all (the prosecutors) had to lie to get a conviction. I believe in Jesus. I love my God. I'm coming home to see my family."
Prosecutors said the evidence proves otherwise. They pointed to McCasland's record, which shows "a long history of drug dealing and an arrest in Ascension Parish for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine."
They said, cell phone records show McCasland "overtly sold heroin to someone after Cardenas died."
District Attorney, Hillar Moore, said it was a clear cut case.
"The jury heard all of the evidence. He injected her, the private text messages, he dealt drugs and heroin prior to this case. He dealt heroin after this occasion. He didn't stop. He is not remorseful and his actions lead to her death," Moore said.
McCasland's attorney, J. Rodney Messina, disagrees. He said Louisiana's law, which calls for a mandatory life sentence for adults found guilty of distributing heroin, is excessive and needs to be re-evaluated.
"When you look at his logic behind that. There are two consenting adults who were using drugs, cocaine, heroin, alprazolam. This thing could have flip flopped. He could have been the one that's six feet under, and then they would prosecuting Miss Cardenas," Messina said.
Judge Johnson entered McCasland's appeal into the trial record. It now goes before Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeal.