A judge in East Feliciana Parish declined Tuesday to hold a new trial and delay sentencing for alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe, even though his attorney argued the U.S. Supreme Court could void the jury's 11-1 decision convicting him of first-degree murder.

Sharpe was convicted in December in the killing of Brad DeFranceschi, one of three men authorities said Sharpe gunned down from his car during a killing spree across East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes in 2017.

Defense Attorney Tommy Damico on Tuesday pointed to a pending Supreme Court decision that could give those convicted by split juries a path to a new trial.

Louisiana voters in 2018 approved a constitutional amendment ending non-unanimous jury convictions in major felony cases. But the new rules apply only in cases where crimes happened in 2019 or later.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in October in the case of Evangelisto Ramos, who in 2016 was sentenced to life in prison after a New Orleans jury convicted him of second-degree murder by a 10-2 vote.

If justices decide the Constitution requires unanimous verdicts in state cases, they could also weigh in on whether it extends to past convictions like the Sharpe and Ramos cases.

In his motion, Damico asks the court to delay Sharpe's June 9 sentencing and to hold a new trial if the nation's highest court makes that decision.

"If they say it's unconstitutional, they may make it retroactive to those cases," Damico said. "There should have been unanimity of the verdict to preserve my rights if the United States Supreme Court rules."

District Judge G. William Carmichael denied those motions during a Tuesday hearing in Clinton.

The Louisiana Attorney General's Office noted that few more than 100 cases could be impacted in a filing last fall when the court reviewed the Ramos case.

Oregon is the only remaining state that allows split verdicts, but a Supreme Court ruling could ban the practice entirely for states.

During Sharpe's trial, prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty, which allowed prosecutors to bring the case to trial faster and avoid lengthy pretrial procedures that can take years in death penalty cases.

Sharpe's defense hinged entirely on proving to jurors that he had a serious mental disorder and couldn’t remember the shootings. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the latest trial, as well as his pending case in Baton Rouge.

Following lawyers' closing arguments, a panel of 12 jurors returned their decision in less than an hour, with only one juror casting a not-guilty vote.

Prosecutor Sam D'Aquilla said he, too, is waiting to see what the Supreme Court decides but feels the quick jury return is evidence he had a strong case.

"If it's got to be unanimous, then it's got to be," D'Aquilla said. "We'll go back and re-try."

Because the jury reached more than 10 guilty votes, it no longer needed to deliberate. Had the dissenting juror held out under the new rules, prosecutors would have had to try Sharpe again.

Though the trial only concerned the death of DeFranceschi, a Boy Scout leader and father who was shot while trimming weeds in his front yard, prosecutors presented evidence linking Sharpe to the other shootings.

He is charged with second-degree murder in the July 2017 shooting of 62-year-old Tommy Bass, who was killed in the carport of his home; attempted first-degree murder in the September 2017 shooting of 47-year-old Buck Hornsby, who was wounded while exercising on his property; and second-degree murder in the Sept 2017 killing of 66-year-old Carroll Breeden, a former BREC commissioner who was fatally shot while doing yard work in front of his home in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The killings happened within a seven-mile radius of Sharpe's home near Clinton. During the killings, he circled the men’s homes, scoping them out to make sure no one was home, authorities said. He would also leave his phone at home so investigators couldn’t track it.

DeFranceschi, 48, like most of the other victims, was killed while doing yard work in broad daylight, on Oct. 9.

During Sharpe's trial, Kaylene DeFranceschi described her husband as a “fearless father” who told his family not to live in fear, despite worries she had about the streak of seemingly random violence that the Bluff Creek-area on edge for weeks.

She detailed the harrowing moments the morning her husband was shot, testifying that she ran out to her him to stop the bleeding from his chest caused by Sharpe's shotgun after he peeled away in his car.

He died in her arms, and DeFranceschi said she "felt his soul leave his body."

In Sharpe’s defense, his father and several friends testified they saw a troubling change in him, recalling he began telling "strange" and "far-fetched" stories, neglecting his plumbing business and becoming reclusive.

A video of his interview with authorities that was presented in court showed Sharpe telling investigators the government had ordered him to fill a certain amount of "tags" by shooting the men as part of a "big federal operation."

Several psychiatrists examined him and raised serious doubts he has a mental illness or an affliction that affected his memory.

Sharpe’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity put the burden of proof on his defense team to convince jurors he was unable to tell right from wrong. His lawyer offered little argument during the trial that Sharpe was the shooter during the killings.

Prosecutors said the bizarre confession was part of his plan to build an insanity defense.

He's remained at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola since his conviction.

Sharpe's sentencing comes just a few weeks before his trial in Baton Rouge, and he'll return to East Feliciana for trial in the killing of Bass in late August.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide on its case later this year, potentially after Sharpe's upcoming trials and his sentencing.

He faces a potential life sentence without the possibility of parole in his recent case.

Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com.