Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics

More Twists & Turns

At the time all of this was going on, the Appellate Court had still not ruled on the prosecution's appeal of Sassone's ruling on a new trial. Finally, on March 10, 2005, a ruling was handed down. Sassone's decision was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. Sol Gothard and Clarence McManus, two of the three appellate judges hearing the appeal concurred that, even without the testimony of the witnesses, there was abundance of other evidence which fully established Corey's guilt. Judge Thomas Daley disagreed, citing the recanting of one witness' testimony and adding that Sassone, as trial judge, was in a better position than the appeals court to make the decision on granting a new trial.

D.A. Connick announced that the ruling set the stage for a sentencing hearing for Corey nearly a year and a half after his original conviction. He hailed the appeals court's decision, although he said he expected their ruling to be appealed by Corey's lawyers.

Needless to say, this wasn't the present Corey was hoping to get the day after his 34th birthday.

Now it was the defense's turn to appeal the ruling and the only place they could go with it was to the Louisiana State Supreme Court. Rakosky did not immediately commit to taking that course but he hinted that it was one of several options they could explore. Another would have been to let Sassone sentence Corey, then appeal the sentencing to the same appellate court "on a broader range of issues," including what he called "the systematic exclusion of black jurors," in addition to the prosecution's withholding of background information on its witnesses.

However, on March 25, Rakosky took the unusual step of asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal to revisit its decision of earlier that month. He filed a brief in which he said "it is virtually unheard of in Louisiana that an appellate court would reverse a trial court's decision in the absence of an abuse of discretion," such as a ruling not based on the facts of the case. He asked that at least five appeals court judges or perhaps even the full nine-member bench re-hear the case

Within four days, Rakosky had his answer. The appeals court would not go back on its earlier ruling. The declined to re-hear the case without offering an explanation.

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