LA Supreme Court to review vacated conviction in Jessica Guillot kidnapping case

Chadwick McGhee (Source: KALB)
Chadwick McGhee (Source: KALB)(KALB)
Published: May. 1, 2017 at 10:54 AM CDT
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The Louisiana Supreme Court will review the case of State of Louisiana vs. Chadwick McGhee on Monday at 2 p.m. in New Orleans. McGhee is one of five people who was indicted in connection with the disappearance of Jessica Guillot, 21, of Simmesport in 2013. Guillot has never been found.

Guillot's mother was the person who first reported her missing in 2013. She testified during the trial that her daughter had a known drug problem and would often disappear, but would always return.

McGhee, 23, was convicted in 2014 by an Avoyelles Parish jury on a charge of simple kidnapping.

Two of the other suspects involved, Asa Bentley and Willie Price, Jr., were found guilty of second degree kidnapping. Another suspect, Tamika Williams, was given a plea deal in exchange for her testimony. And, the fourth suspect, Donnie Edwards, pleaded guilty to simple kidnapping.

Williams testified that she was in a car with the group when Bentley allegedly choked Guillot, whom he believed was stealing cocaine from him.

In October 2014, McGhee tried to get a new trial, but that was denied. So, he appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In November 2015, the Third Circuit vacated his conviction and sentence based on insufficient evidence.

The Avoyelles Parish District Attorney, Charlie Riddle, promised to take the case to the state Supreme Court. Now, the higher court plans on taking a look.

The case will be reviewed on a writ of certiorari. That means they have ordered the Third Circuit to deliver its record in the case so that they can review it.

Riddle will appear in the state Supreme Court for arguments on behalf of the State of Louisiana, as well as Michael Kelly, another attorney. Paula Marx will appear on behalf of McGhee.