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|Jury convicts teen of murder|
A Ouachita Parish teen faces life in prison after a Bossier Parish jury convicted him Monday in the shooting death of his parents.
Dalton Fletcher, 16, of West Monroe, was found guilty of two counts of second degree murder. He will be sentenced Feb. 3, 2012.
Fletcher was accused of shooting his mother and father in the family's western Ouachita Parish home.
Media publicity surrounding the shooting, which took place Sept. 9, 2010, necessitated moving the trial from 4th Judicial District Court because of difficulties in seating an impartial jury in Ouachita Parish.
Assistant District Attorney Geary Aycock, who served as lead prosecutor on the case, said he was saddened but not surprised by the verdict.
"It's sad for everyone involved because of the brutality of the loss and it touches so many lives," Aycock said. "But the community will be much safer with this young man doing life."
Yet, Aycock said he was pleased with the outcome of the trial.
"It was a pretty straight forward," Aycock said. "The evidence was there that he killed them and it was quite clear that he knew right from wrong."
After more than five days of testimony, it took the jury just one hour and fifteen minutes to deliver the guilty verdict.
The trial included expert testimony from psychologists, family and friends of the Fletchers.
Also a key issue in the trial was a statement in which Fletcher confessed to killing his parents.
Defense attorney Charles Kincaid argued against the admission of the confession, but ultimately the statement was submitted as evidence.
"We objected to its admission," Kincaid said. "That's likely an issue we'll address on appeal."
Kincaid also said he is prepared to mount a constitutional challenge to the mandatory sentence of life in prison.
"We believe that sentencing a juvenile to a mandatory life sentence without parole is unconstitutional," Kincaid said. "We will be challenging that sentence."
Kincaid called Fletcher's conviction "disappointing."
"We weren't expecting it," Kincaid said. "We respect it but we're disappointed."