Appeals court takes up Stanley White case
BATON ROUGE - A three-judge panel at the First Circuit Court of Appeals listened to arguments today surrounding a man from Ascension Parish who killed a baby in a 1994 crash, but didn't serve a day of his sentence.
Stanley White was 19 at the time of the crash that killed 10-week old Brittney Deville. The wreck happened on Airline Highway in Ascension Parish, and investigators said White was drinking. His attorneys contend the state messed up, and they shouldn't try to have his nearly two-decade-old sentence enforced now.
Last May, a judge in Ascension Parish suspended White's two year sentence and placed him on probation instead. The issue the First Circuit Court of Appeals will take up is whether that judge had the authority to overturn another judge's sentence.
"It's painful, but we're making it through," Brittney's mother, Rachel Deville said. "We want to get justice. This is about justice for Brittney. It won't change our lives any but she deserves justice."
Deville and the State Attorney General's Office contend White should have taken responsibility and served his sentence. In court, a panel of three circuit judges asked about personal responsibility.
"If I know my sentence and conviction have been affirmed, I owe the public my time," Circuit Judge James Kuhn said.
White's Defense Lawyer Stephen Moore fired back, telling the judges White didn't have a responsibility to do anything.
"Stanley's been out 17 years," Moore said. "He's been a model citizen during this time where the State of Louisiana failed to do their job. If anyone failed the victims of this case, it was the State of Louisiana."
As the three-judge panel reviews the case, it will likely head to the Louisiana Supreme Court. All sides say they are willing to take it that far depending on how the court rules.
"I would like to see him serve two years," Deville said. "It's justice."