Panel of judges hears arguments in appeal regarding overruled murder conviction

Published: Feb. 25, 2016 at 3:38 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A panel of judges heard arguments Wednesday about an overruled murder conviction.

District Attorney HIllar Moore appealed Derrick Bland's case after a judge overruled a jury's second-degree murder conviction and ruled it negligent homicide.

In September 2015, an East Baton Rouge Parish jury reached a unanimous verdict, convicting Bland of second-degree murder and sentencing him to life in prison.

However, Judge Trudy White overruled the jury's verdict, saying that Bland was drunk so he could only be guilty of negligent homicide which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Bland was arrested in July 2013 after he shot and killed his brother-in-law, 40-year-old James Stockton, at the Pelican Bay Apartments on North Lobdell.

Investigators said Stockton and Bland got into an argument during a family party at the apartment they shared and Bland was asked to leave.

Detectives reported that Bland was leaving with his family, but then shot Stockton several times. Bland ran away before officers arrived on the scene. He later turned himself into police.

A ruling on the appeal could happen in April.

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