- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeals of two women convicted of killing one of their husbands on a road south of Lake Charles.

Carol Noland Saltzman and Robyn Little Davis each was convicted of second-degree murder in May 2012 in the death of Brian Davis, whose body was found at the end of Wagon Wheel Lane on July 1, 2009. Prosecutors said the women killed him to collect on $645,000 in life insurance policies.

The American Press reports (https://bit.ly/153yuZq) their attorneys asked the nation’s highest court to examine the case after the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld their convictions and life sentences in June but the high court declined Monday.

“We are gratified by the court’s decision” prosecutor Carla Sigler said.

Defense attorney Shane Hinch acknowledged that few cases are heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and even fewer are granted relief.

“I’m disappointed that they chose not to hear it,” Hinch said. “To say it was a long shot is putting it mildly. At this point we’ll have to regroup and see what other action we can take.”

Hinch and attorney Glen Vamvoras had asked the high court to consider issues related to a continuance granted after a jury was picked, but not sworn in, in 2011.

Judge David Ritchie granted the continuance when prosecutor Rick Bryant fell ill. The original jurors were recalled, but were eventually dismissed and a new jury chosen.

Because a witness, detective Roxanne Baumgartner, was not expected to be available during the original trial date, her videotaped testimony was taken and items were entered into evidence before the continuance was granted.

Vamvoras and Hinch contended that double jeopardy occurred when the case was tried with a new jury and that the prosecution was allowed an unfair advantage because it was able to re-examine evidence.

“That’s disappointing,” Vamvoras said. “I thought they would take a look at the double jeopardy issue. I thought that was one that would draw the issue of the federal courts. Obviously not.”


Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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