SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Tuesday morning, attorneys for the man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2015 death of a Shreveport police officer are scheduled to appeal his conviction.
On Nov. 20, 2019, then 32-year-old Grover Cannon was convicted of first-degree murder in the August 5, 2015 shooting death of 29-year-old SPD Officer Thomas LaValley.
In Louisiana, a first-degree murder conviction is punishable by either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
Following the guilty verdict, a second – or death penalty phase – trial is held to determine whether the defendant will be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
After hearing more than two days of evidence from prosecutors, who argued for the death penalty, and defense attorneys who argued for life in prison, the jury went into deliberations on the third day.
But after an hour-and-a-half of deliberations, the jury came back and told the judge they could not reach a decision, that they were deadlocked.
So, on January 2, 2020, Caddo District Judge Ramona Emanuel sentenced Cannon to life in prison without the possibility of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
It is that conviction and sentence that defense attorneys wish the appellate judges to review for errors that may have been made in conducting the trial.
The appellate judges can uphold the trial court’s judgment, send the case back to Caddo District Court to consider one issue, or reverse the court’s judgment and remand the case back to District Court for a new trial.