Vidalia man convicted of manslaughter appeals to judge for lesser sentence

Published 10:55 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — A Concordia Parish judge is considering a request for a reduced sentence for a man convicted in a 2021 stabbing death.

Joby Duck surrendered to Vidalia police a few days after 22-year-old Mardray T. Carr died in the hospital from injuries he received when Duck stabbed him at the Rainbow mini-mart in Vidalia in March 2021.

Duck was originally charged with second-degree murder. However, Duck pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Nov. 9, 2022.

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A motion to reconsider the sentence was filed a month later, which public defender attorney Derrick Carson presented to Seventh Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson on Wednesday.

Carson said Duck had been “viciously attacked in Natchez” by the stabbing victim a year or two prior to the incident, “and left for dead.” He added that Duck “feared for his life.”

“While not excusing (Duck’s) activity, it may be a mitigating factor,” Carson said.

Assistant District Attorney Austin Lipsey said the alleged attack was taken into consideration when the charge was reduced to manslaughter, and there had been a pre-sentencing investigation ordered before Duck was sentenced. However, Lipsey said the attack was never verified and called it “street talk.”

He also said surveillance footage of the stabbing incident clearly shows Duck waiting for Carr inside the store before attacking him and stabbing him in the stomach.

Carson argued there’s more to the footage to indicate that perhaps Carr knew Duck was there and perhaps intended to harm Duck.

“It doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Duck took an individual’s life,” Lipsey said.

Johnson said she wanted to review the footage Carson mentioned before she reconsiders Duck’s sentence. The matter was scheduled for June 21, giving her time to do so.