GRETNA, La. -- The man convicted of shooting and killing a Metairie father and son in 2015 will not get a new trial.
Judge Raymond Steib on Thursday ruled against the motion and will sentence Dexter Allen Friday.
Lawyers for Allen sought the new trial after they said the jury unfairly heard testimony about crimes Allen was accused of in relation to the killing in Jefferson Parish but that happened in New Orleans.
Allen was convicted of second-degree murder and 19 counts of simple burglary in the shooting deaths of David and Nicholas Pence, who were gunned down in the living room of their Metairie home the night of April 22, 2015.
While sentencing was delayed, Steib continued with what is known as a Miller hearing.
Among the evidence being presented was a 911 call in which the victims’ wife and mother can be heard trying to keep her son alive. Her husband was already dead at that point.
Since Allen was 17 at the time he committed the crime, his attorneys had asked Steib to bar, or at least limit, testimony from the victims’ family during the sentencing.
That type of testimony is common at sentencing hearing and is a right of victims and their relatives under state law. However, attorney Jerome Matthews argued it could be damaging for Allen, who faces two life sentences, but could be eligible for parole after 35 years, since he was 17 at the time of the killings.
A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision found automatic life sentences for juveniles to be cruel and unusual punishment and required courts to hear evidence about the defendant’s life circumstances before sentencing.
Allen's sentencing is scheduled for Friday, April 21, at 10:30 a.m.
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