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Hearing set for February 2018 in Russell Rubin case

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By: TONY MARKS
Associate Editor

In response to a decision handed down by the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal, the State of Louisiana through the Evangeline Parish District Attorney Office filed a motion to keep a defendant in jail for life without the possibility of parole.
Russell Ross Rubin was charged with one count of second degree murder on December 14, 1993, for the killing of Bernice Lavergne inside her Chataignier grocery store. At his second trial for the offense, Rubin was found guilty on January 25, 1996, and was sentenced to serve life in prison without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
The U. S. Supreme Court has since found that such a sentence upon a juvenile defendant is unconstitutional because it is cruel and unusual punishment. Because of this decision, Rubin filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence in the 13th Judicial District Court in Evangeline Parish, which was denied by Judge Chuck R. West.
Rubin applied for a Writ of Certiorari with the Third Circuit, and the writ was granted sending the matter back to district court for another hearing.
District Attorney Trent Brignac filed a motion with the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Office on October 16 that states in part, “the State hereby notifies defendant, Russell Rubin, of its intent that the current sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole continue to be served.”
The matter is now set for hearing in front of Judge West on February 20, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. As Rubin’s attorney Alex Chapman previously stated, “Life without parole for a juvenile can only be imposed after a full blown hearing involving many factors to determine if the juvenile is beyond rehabilitation at this point in his life. If the state cannot carry its burden of proof in the hearing, then Rubin will be eligible for parole.”

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