A Gretna man convicted last year of brutally raping and beating a woman in a Marrero storage yard was resentenced Monday to a slightly harsher term after the state 5th Circuit Court of Appeal found he is not eligible for parole.
Terrence Payne had appealed to the 5th Circuit asking for a new trial. He also claimed that the sentences for his forcible rape and attempted manslaughter convictions should not have been enhanced under state habitual-offender statutes.
A three-judge panel rejected both contentions and ruled that in addition to being ineligible for probation or a suspended sentence on the forcible rape charge, Payne also was ineligible for parole.
On Monday, 24th Judicial District Court Judge Scott Schlegel sentenced Payne once again to an 85-year term, this time without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension.
Payne was convicted in April 2014 of forcible rape and attempted manslaughter for bringing a prostitute to a Marrero scrap yard in June 2012, knocking her to the ground and raping her before smashing her head with a heavy object.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was found later by the property owner, who testified her face was beaten so badly he could barely tell she was human. She suffered 32 broken bones on the left side of her face and a crushed eye socket, and the beating left her without a sense of smell and with none of her teeth.
Her assailant wasn’t captured until a year later, when she happened to see Payne in the Jefferson Parish prison, recognized him and told authorities.
During the trial, the woman testified that she had gotten addicted to opiates after a 2004 car accident and at the time of the attack was working as a prostitute to support her habit. She said she had since gotten drug-free and found religion.
Payne’s request for a new trial was based on the fact that the man the woman was living with had a drug conviction during the time she testified she was drug-free. Payne said he should have been informed of the man’s conviction and that it was relevant to her credibility as a witness, but the appeals court panel found it insufficient to warrant a new trial.
Payne also has asked that his conviction be vacated on the grounds of ineffective counsel.
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