Man sentenced to life for killing girlfriend's alleged abuser returns to court for consideration of retrial
BATON ROUGE- A 2015 murder case in East Baton Rouge Parish is being reviewed as a result of a supreme court decision regarding split juries.
In 2017, a jury found Jace Crehan, now 26 years old, guilty of second-degree murder in the 2015 killing of Robert Noce, Jr., the man who Crehan's girlfriend says sexually abused her as a child.
Crehan was found guilty and eventually sentenced to life in prison after jurors listened to four days of court hearings that included detailed accounts of the shocking violence precipitating Noce's death.
During the trial, Crehan admitted to strangling and stabbing the man who he said abused his girlfriend. Crehan explained that the criminal justice system had "failed" his girlfriend and he didn't want her to suffer anymore.
Not all of the jurors agreed on what should happen to Crehan, and their final decision of an 11-1 guilty verdict was not unanimous.
In April of 2020, the supreme court ruled that nationwide, jurors must be unanimous to convict a criminal defendant.
This decision has granted Crehan another shot at freedom and he returns to court for a hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
The Wednesday hearing may lead to a retrial.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said of the case, "This case is one of those that fits in to that decision (the supreme court's decision on split juries) and so we're in the process now of just retrying the case. And that preliminary motion is just like you would in any case, just a normal standard procedure now follows again for the second time."
The District Attorney's Office says it expects Crehan's case to move swiftly towards an outcome, just as it did in 2017.
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