Man seeks reduced conviction, new trial in overdose death
BATON ROUGE - A Denham Springs man found guilty in the 2013 heroin overdose death of his girlfriend is asking a state judge to either reduce his second-degree murder conviction to negligent homicide or grant him a new trial.
26-year-old Jarret McCasland faces life in prison without parole when sentenced Friday. A jury convicted him in November in the July 2013 death of 19-year-old Flavia Cardenas.
Under a rarely used provision of Louisiana's second-degree murder statute, prosecutors had to prove that the heroin McCasland is accused of giving Cardenas was the direct cause of her death.
McCasland's attorneys say the law under which he was prosecuted was never intended to apply to cases such as his, and that the life sentence without parole amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
McCasland's hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was pushed back to Friday afternoon.