A Baton Rouge man's convictions and sentences of life in prison plus 30 years in a fatal 2011 shooting in Spanish Town have been reinstated by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The high court said the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal erred in February when it found Cardale Green was denied his right to the lawyers of his choice.
A Baton Rouge man serving a life prison term in a fatal 2011 shooting in Spanish Town was granted a new trial this week by a state appellate c…
The appeals court reversed Green's second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder convictions, threw out his sentences and ordered a new trial.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the appellate court.
Green was found guilty in 2015 in the drug-related killing of 28-year-old Derrick Casey on Gracie Street. He also was convicted of wounding Casey's acquaintance.
A little more than two years after his co-defendant was acquitted, Cardale Green was found guilty Friday of murder and attempted murder in a 2…
Another Baton Rouge man, Mark David Young, was acquitted of the same murder and attempted murder charges in 2013. Young was represented by lawyers Joel Porter and Tiffany Foxworth, whom he hired.
A defendant is not entitled to a specific lawyer when the lawyer is appointed.
Green was initially represented by court-appointed attorneys before announcing he was hiring Porter and Foxworth. East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors objected, claiming it would be a conflict of interest for Porter and Foxworth to represent both men.
Porter argued there were no antagonistic defenses or conflicts because Young's case was not tried simultaneously with Green's, and because Young had been acquitted.
State District Judge Don Johnson, who was presiding over the case at the time, allowed Porter and Foxworth to enroll as Green's attorneys. Prosecutors appealed that ruling and also filed complaints against Porter and Foxworth with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board.
That move prompted Porter and Foxworth to file a motion to withdraw as Green's attorneys. Green objected.
After the 1st Circuit and state Supreme Court affirmed Johnson's ruling allowing Porter and Foxworth to enroll, the judge granted their motion to withdraw. Porter, however, immediately asked Johnson to reconsider his ruling but the judge refused. Johnson later denied a written motion from Porter, Foxworth and Elton Heron to re-enroll as Green's attorneys.
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the question of withdrawal of counsel largely rests with the discretion of the trial court.
"Although counsel contend they did not anticipate the trial court would grant the motion, which they contend they only filed to protect themselves from a professional disciplinary complaint filed by the state, the fact remains that the trial court ruled exactly as requested in the defense motion," the high court wrote.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III noted that Green appeared in court with his court-appointed attorney at least six times, without objection on each occasion.
"Given these circumstances, the Louisiana Supreme Court properly concluded that Green was not denied his right to counsel of choice," Moore said Wednesday.
Green's trial attorney was Robert Tucker, who was appointed by the court. State District Judge Beau Higginbotham presided over the 2015 jury trial.
The 1st Circuit determined in its February ruling that the evidence was sufficient to support Green's convictions, Moore pointed out.