Surviving victim of alleged serial killer calls voided conviction a miscarriage of justice
CLINTON - The only surviving victim of alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe said he is stunned that the murder conviction for the shooting death of Brad Defranceschi was tossed out.
Buck Hornsby was shot in 2017 as he walked along the side of a road near Clinton. Ryan Sharpe was arrested later that year, accused of killing three men: Tommy Bass, Carroll Breeden and Brad Defranceschi.
"It's sad for me and the families," Hornsby said. "We have to go through this again. It makes no sense. I don't know what to say. It's just terrible."
The conviction of accused killer Ryan Sharpe has been voided after a recent Supreme Court decision banned all non-unanimous criminal convictions.
A lawyer representing Ryan Sharpe tells WBRZ a judge threw out the conviction in Sharpe's alleged killing spree that spanned East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes in 2017. The decision comes just months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that criminal juries must be unanimous to get a conviction.
Sharpe was convicted by jurors 11-1 in 2019 for the death of Brad DeFranceschi, one of three men killed in the string of attacks over a period of months.
While he was in custody, Sharpe told investigators he was trying to fill government-issued hunting tags when he shot the men. The alleged killer's attorney had argued Sharpe was not guilty by reason of insanity, but mental health professionals testified that Sharpe showed no signs of insanity.
"I feel terrible for the families and the guys who didn't make it," Hornsby said. "We thought everything was over in December. I was there when the conviction was made. And it was a great day for the families, and it was put to rest. Now everything is back like it never happened, and it's a nightmare."
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said Sharpe is due to stand trial in Baton Rouge in October for allegedly killing Carroll Breeden. Moore said although there's a judge vacancy in the section that case is assigned to, and the date will likely be pushed back, he is moving forward.
"If he's convicted of that he is presumed innocent still," Moore said. "If he's convicted and takes an appeal, and the appellate court wants to throw that conviction out, where are we without a trial here? At this point, more than likely we will go forward with our trial."
Currently, Sharpe is being held at Angola. The East Feliciana Sheriff's office said they have no intention of transferring him back to the parish jail as he awaits his December trial.
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