CALCASIEU PARISH, LA — An appeals court has reversed the murder conviction of a child killer and pedophile who admitted to strangling a six-year-old boy to death, which could pave the way for his possible release.
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the second-degree murder conviction of Ricky Langley, who had been convicted three times of murdering six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in 1992. Langley confessed to killing Guillory using graphic details in a report that was aired in 2009 by TV news channel KPLC.
The boy’s body was found in Langley’s closet following a three-day search. He had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
“I wrapped the string around his neck and pulled as hard as I could on it,” Langley says in the video, which was recorded on March 26, 1992.
The Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office has stated that they are planning an appeal, and has vowed to fight to make sure that Langley is never released from Angola.
Langley was found guilty of first-degree murder in his first trial and sentenced to death, but the conviction was overturned after a finding that the judge selected the jury foreman based on race.
At his second trial, Langley was acquitted of the charge of first-degree murder, but convicted of second-degree murder. In that case, Langley’s attorneys admitted that he did kill the boy, but argued that he was mentally incapable of forming intent.
The second conviction was also overturned due to the fact that the judge “left the courtroom for significant portions of the proceedings, cut off the defense’s closing argument early, refused to entertain certain contemporaneous objections, and by and large ‘failed to maintain order and decorum’ in the courtroom‘,” according to the ruling.
In this latest reversal of the second-degree conviction, the 5th Circuit’s ruling states that since it was not proven in the second trial that Langley acted with specific intent, the state could use that same argument in the third trial.
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Main photo: Ricky Langley [KPLC Creative Services / YouTube (screenshot)]