BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Meshell Hale, who was convicted of murder in December in the death of her boyfriend in 2015, was denied bail by the First Circuit Court of Appeal.
In an opinion dated Dec. 29, 2022, the court vacated an order to allow Hale to be released on $300,000 bail pending her appeal.
Hale’s boyfriend in 2015, Damian Skipper of Breaux Bridge, died after consuming barium acetate — a poison Hale was found to have bought online.
Hale was found guilty of second-degree murder on Dec. 16, despite defense attorneys saying that there was not enough evidence to place the poison in her hands. Hale was sentenced to life in prison at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
She was granted a $300,000 bond by the 19th Judicial District Court, pending an appeal. However, the district attorney’s office was granted a stay that was upheld by the First Circuit.
A three-judge panel of judges Walter I. Lanier III, Jewel E.”Duke” Welch and Allison H. Penzato found the district court was incorrect in setting Hale’s bond after her conviction, which was the same amount it had set for pretrial bond.
“Due to the unique facts and circumstances of this case, I find the district court abused its discretion in setting postconviction bond in this case,” Welch wrote. “I believe the defendant presents a danger to the public and is a flight risk.”
Hale’s appeal is set for Feb. 22.