Ferridian could face life sentencePublished 12:10am Friday, July 27, 2012
VIDALIA — A Ferriday man could face a mandatory life sentence if convicted on one of four charges during a jury trial scheduled for Aug. 27.
J.C. Hampton, 37, 9798 U.S. 84, allegedly stabbed a woman in the 600 block of Eighth Street in Ferriday in March, before raping the stab victim’s daughter and stealing her cell phone.
A grand jury indicted Hampton on all four charges in June.
Hampton appeared before Seventh Judicial District Court Judge Leo Boothe on Wednesday for a pretrial conference, but Hampton’s legal counsel was not present.
During a pretrial conference, attorneys for both sides can eliminate repetitive evidence and set schedules for future court proceedings, among other things.
Assistant District Attorney David Opperman said he wasn’t notified that Hampton’s lawyer, Martin Regan of Martin E. Reagan Jr. and Associates of New Orleans, would not be present beforehand and agreed with Boothe’s decision to continue forward with court proceedings.
A pretrial conference was rescheduled for Aug. 15, and a jury trial was scheduled for Aug. 27.
In that trial, 10 out of the 12 jurors must agree on the verdict.
Opperman said a conviction by the jury on Hampton’s aggravated rape charge would result in a mandatory life sentence.
During Hampton’s magistrate hearing in March, Ferriday Investigator Clarence Hall gave a description of the events. He said the daughter drove to the Ferriday Police Department to report her mother had been stabbed. Hall said she went in person to the station, since the suspect reportedly stole her cell phone and her mother’s cell phone.
After police found the mother in a bedroom with multiple stab wounds, the daughter reportedly told police the same suspect had raped her, Hall said.
Hall said the victims knew Hampton from the area and their families were friends, but neither of the victims had a relationship with the suspect.
Hall said Hampton recently served approximately 13 years of a 15-year sentence in prison on a previous forcible rape conviction from 1996. He said Hampton was released from prison in 2008.
Hall also listed in court a number of other previous charges, including battery charges.