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March 09, 2017

New Trial Refused for Slidell Man Convicted of Child Cruelty

District Judge William J. Burris rejected a request Tuesday (March 7, 2017) to grant a new trial to Larry Bickham (60), a Slidell man convicted November 18, 2015 of child cruelty for exposing his 17-month-old daughter to cocaine in 2014.
Bickham’s attorneys were seeking a new trial with claims that prosecutors offered a sentencing deal to inmate Kelvin Rushing in exchange for his testimony. During the trial, Rushing had testified for prosecutors that Bickham smoked crack in the toddler’s presence and sometimes blew the smoke into her face to get her to sleep. But after listening to nearly two hours of testimonies, Burris found that claim without merit.
Burris also rejected a claim by Bickham’s attorneys that a letter turned over to them by prosecutors after the trial might have exonerated Bickham and changed the outcome of the trial. Burris found that the substance of the letter, which had been written by an inmate to a prosecutor not connected to the trial, had been covered during the trial.
Bickham is scheduled to be sentenced April 17.

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