Sentences, conviction upheld in Baton Rouge AK-47 slayings

An appeals court has let stand a Baton Rouge man’s manslaughter convictions and 80-year prison sentence for the AK-47 assault rifle slaying of an unarmed mother and son in 2009 while she talked on the phone with a sheriff’s dispatcher.

A three-judge panel of the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal rejected Derrick George Gordy’s claim that Patricia Aldridge’s chilling 911 call should not have been played for the East Baton Rouge Parish jury that found him guilty in May 2012 of fatally shooting Aldridge, 40, and Ronald Thacker Jr., 21, outside their South Sunderland Avenue home.

“We are very pleased that the 1st Circuit has agreed with the state’s position as to the 911 call. This call was relevant and an important piece of information that the jury needed to hear,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Monday.

In the call the night of Sept. 30, 2009, Aldridge tells a dispatcher that several males had threatened one of her son’s friends outside their South Sunderland home. A few minutes later, Aldridge is heard goading the subjects.

“C’mon, try to hit me … uh huh … c’mon … here they come, here they come,’’ she said just before the call erupted into screams and a barrage of gunfire. Aldridge was shot 13 times. Thacker was shot four times.

With 10 seconds left on the call, Aldridge utters in a low voice, “I’m dead.’’

“Ma’am? Ma’am? Ma’am?’’ the dispatcher asks, but gets no reply.

Gordy, who was 16 at the time of the killings, also argued to the appellate court that his consecutive 40-year prison terms are excessive and tantamount to a life sentence. Gordy is now 21.

Circuit Judges Randolph Parro, John Michael Guidry and Ernest Drake said Thursday they could not consider Gordy’s excessiveness claim because he never filed a written motion asking state District Judge Trudy White to reconsider the sentences she imposed in September 2012.

“The oral motion by the defense counsel did not voice any particular objection to the sentences,” Drake wrote for the panel. “Thus, the defendant’s failure to urge a claim of excessiveness or any other specific ground for reconsideration of the sentences by oral or written motion at the trial court level precludes our review of his claim of … excessiveness on appeal.”

Moore nevertheless weighed in, saying, “Consecutive sentences were and are in order in this violent murder.”

At his sentencing, White called Gordy’s actions heinous and heartless.

Gordy was tried on two counts of second-degree murder but convicted of two counts of manslaughter. Jay Winters Jr. and Demario Alexander also were indicted on second-degree murder charges in the case.

Winters, 32, who testified for the prosecution, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to charges of obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the obstruction count and put on active supervised probation for five years on the accessory count.

Alexander, 20, pleaded guilty in 2010 to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was 15 at the time of the shooting. He did not testify.