Victim's parents outraged; man convicted in 2007 St. Helena murder asks for new trial

Man convicted in 2007 St. Helena murder asks for new trial

ST. HELENA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Mary Hughes and Frank Ricard have waited a long time to see the men they believe are responsible for their son's death put away. It has been eight years, 10 months and three weeks, according to Hughes.

Nearly a decade after the court proceedings began, they are still waiting.

"I miss him all the time. It doesn't get easier. It gets better with time, but it doesn't get any easier," said Hughes.

Myron Hughes, 21, was shot and killed in a gunfight just down the road from his parent's home in October 2007. His parents talk about that night as if it happened yesterday.

"I sat with him on the ground from 8 o'clock to about 4:30 that morning," said Richard. "I just want justice for my son."

Investigators quickly arrested three men: Fitzpatrick Williams, Jesse Thomas and Samuel Williams. However, the case would all but stall in the courts.

Hughes' parents said every time the case would seem to move forward, there would be a delay, a change in attorneys, or a new motion that would start everything over again.

Eight years of court dates and hearings went by before any of the suspects went go to trial. Fitzpatrick Williams was convicted for second-degree murder in March. The other two suspect's trials are scheduled for later this year.

After hearing a guilty verdict, Hughes' parents thought closure may finally be at hand.

"At first it was a good thing. But the day that we went back for the sentencing, we were shot down," Hughes said.

At the sentencing hearing, a new attorney for Williams filed a motion for a new trial. Though the attorney was not available for an interview, the motion claims Williams did not receive a fair trial and that new evidence has come to light which may have changed the outcome of the trial.

A hearing for the motion was scheduled for June 24.

The possibility of a new trial was a blow to the victim's parents who feel like they've been let down by the system. They said the defense had its chance, and now it's time for justice.

"It's just been a long battle, over and over and over. I'm almost ready to give up, but I'm not," Hughes said. "I'll keep pressing on."

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