James Stubblefield was sentenced in April 2011 for the aggravated rape which occurred 17 years earlier.
He contended Judge Alonzo Harris erred in admitting some evidence in violation of Stubblefield’s 6th Amendment protections and that evidence at the trial was insufficient to prove the case.
The appeals ruling disagrees on both counts, affirming and upholding the conviction.
The victim, 10 at the time, was in a motel room with her brother when a man came to the door, saying he had been sent by the childrens’ mother to see if they needed anything from the store. The brother was 12 at that time.
The children and their mother had been living in the room for about six months. The mother worked nights.
The victim said she recognized the man as one she had seen working at the motel.
When they opened the door, the man walked in and asked if they had any money. He then said he needed to talk to the girl in the bathroom without the brother present.
The victim’s testimony was that Stubblefield raped her while in the bathroom, threatening to kill the brother if the girl didn’t stop yelling.
The brother ran to get the motel manager. When they returned, Stubblefield had already left, according to testimony.
The physician who examined the girl at the emergency room affirmed intercourse had occurred and noted an obscene expression had been written on the girl’s inner thigh.
It was seven years later - May 2001 -- when DNA was collected from Stubblefield in connection with another case and compared to samples from unsolved cases. That collected from the girl in 1994 matched Stublefield, the record shows.
Stubblefield was indicted by a parish grand jury eight years later, 2009.
At the trial, the victim testified she had not seen her assailant since the night of the crime until he was arrested.
Read more: EuniceToday.com - Third Circuit upholds cold case rape conviction life sentence