Court to review Wood appeal today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 5, 2009

VIDALIA — The appeal for 17-year-old Connor Wood’s triple-murder conviction will go before the Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles today.

Wood’s appeal is on the docket to go before the bench without oral argument.

“As the appellant, he obviously has the right to request an oral argument, but they have chosen not to go with that,” said Seventh Judicial District District Attorney Brad Burget, who was the prosecuting attorney at Wood’s trial.

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Rather than arguing the case before the bench, Wood’s attorneys have filed motions with the court, and the district attorney’s office has responded to those in writing, Burget said.

The appeal will be decided before a three-person panel composed of Judges Oswald Decuir, Michael Sullivan and Billy Ezell.

Attorney Jarred Franklin is representing Wood.

The teen’s three second-degree murder convictions all stem from a March 2007 incident, in which his parents, John and Geraldine Wood, and a neighbor, 16-year-old Matthew Whittington, were shot to death at the Wood’s Shady Lane residence in Ferriday.

At trial, it was revealed that John Wood died with eight 9 mm bullet wounds in his body, while his wife, Geraldine, had 11. The couple was apparently sleeping when their son started shooting.

Even after trial, why Whittington was in the Wood residence that night is still unknown.

But what is clear is that he was shot nine times with two guns, some of the shots as he was apparently trying to flee.

Wood later confessed to the killings in video statements to Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators, though there were discrepancies between the statements. The statements were used during trial.

A 12-person jury deliberated for 25 minutes before convicting the teen.

Wood is currently serving the first of three consecutive life sentences he was handed last April.

The sentences come with the condition that he does not have the possibility of probation or parole.