LAFAYETTE — A woman whose conviction was reversed on appeal last week in the 2009 shooting death of her boyfriend was ordered Tuesday to remain incarcerated while the prosecution files an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Last week, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal overturned Mary Henderson Trahan’s conviction, ruling the prosecutor failed to offer enough evidence during the trial to prove second-degree murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide in the killing of George Barbu.
Trahan, 48, had been sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted her of second-degree murder last year following a one-day trial in Lafayette.
Trahan argued at trial she accidentally shot Barbu after she slipped and fell while holding the gun. The shooting occurred after she had persuaded Barbu to give her the gun, which he had been waving around during an argument.
During a hearing Tuesday to determine whether Trahan should be released pending appeal, prosecutor Daniel M. Landry III said he plans to ask the state Supreme Court to stay the appellate court’s decision pending its review.
The trial court was ordered to issue an acquittal in the case following the appellate court’s ruling.
Landry argued in court Tuesday that the order of acquittal does not go into effect until the judgment becomes final, which would be 30 days after the July 6 ruling.
State District Judge Edward D. Rubin, who presided over the trial, said Tuesday he was not suspending the order of acquittal, but rather ordering that Trahan remain incarcerated until the judgment is finalized.
“This lady was convicted of second-degree murder. That’s very, very serious,” Rubin said.
If the Supreme Court opts not to issue the stay, then Trahan must post a $1 million bond, surrender her passport and be placed under home incarceration until the Supreme Court returns a ruling, Rubin ruled.
John Clay LeJeune, who represented Trahan during the appeal, said he “respectfully” disagreed with Rubin’s ruling, and noted his plans to ask for a emergency review of the issue of incarceration.
LeJeune said he felt the state had no legal basis to detain Trahan any longer.