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'Believed' first ever drug habitual offender gets life sentence

By 80sbaby, Feb 1, 2011 | Updated: Feb 1, 2011 | | |
  1. 80sbaby
    Career Criminal Sentenced to Life as Habitual Offender
    Sheriff Craig Webre commended the justice system for taking steps on Thursday to permanently remove a career criminal from the streets of Lafourche Parish. “Jessie Bell, Jr. has spent much of his last half century of life peddling death with drugs,” said Webre. “Today, Judge Walter Lanier, III took action to make sure that he will not be allowed to continue that activity for the rest of his natural life,” Webre added.

    On July 18, 2006 the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force arrested Bell (B/M, DOB 12-25-1960, 1745 Madison Drive, Baton Rouge) charging him with distribution of crack cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Approximately $3,200 worth of the drug and $1,100 in cash was recovered during the undercover operation that led to the arrest. Bell was tried before Judge Lanier and found guilty of the charges.

    Bell’s criminal history includes 27 arrests (primarily drug related) and 36 prison stays. The Lafourche Parish District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to have Bell deemed a habitual offender and Judge Lanier agreed in October of 2010. Bell was in Judge Lanier’s courtroom today where he was sentenced as a habitual offender and ordered to serve life in prison without benefit of parole. Bell is believed to be the first drug offender to receive a life sentence as a habitual offender in Lafourche Parish.



  1. 80sbaby
    guys, ok, let me clarify:

    *believed first ever in that particular parish.*
    for all northeners : parish = county

    Heres my question:
    from what ive understood about the law, the 3 strikes law meaning the possibility of getting 3 felonies can end you up as a career criminal and possibly give you a life sentence.
    Now, this does not happen this severe every day, but from what i understand the 3 strikes law cannot be imposed if 1 of the felonies is a drug felony.
    I though i'd read somewhere that the felonies only applicable to 3 strikes law are non drug felonies.
    But maybe this does not include distribution.
    im not sure, anyone who can clear this up for me would be nicee.
  2. Moving Pictures
    ^Depends on the state what the three stike law is. Back in the '90s, there was that big fuss over a guy who got his third strike for shoplifting a pair of sneakers and got sentenced to life in prison.
  3. CaptainTripps
    The 3 strikes laws vary quite a bit from state to state. Some states have two strike laws. Some states have 4 strikes. Some involve almost any felony, some only serious felonies. Some require some of the felonies be serious, but not all. In California the first two have to be serious, but the last one can be anything. Some states put the power in the hands of prosecutors requiring them to file a motion for the three strikes to take effect. Some states don't give prosecutors discretion, other than plea bargaining down to a non-strike.

    To answer your question Lousiana has a combination 3 strike/4 strike law.
    The following crimes are considered strikes for the 3 strikes law.

    Murder, attempt murder, manslaughter, rape, armed robbery, kidnaping, any drug offense punishable by more than 5 years, any felony
    punishable by more than 12 years.

    Under 4 strikes, you get life without parole for any 4 felonies as long as at least one of the convictions involve a strike listed above.

    It would appear the reason that he did not strike out sooner is that from the article it said the prosecutor filed a motion to have him committed as an habitual offender. So it would appear that to get life the prosecutor has to ask for it.

    I hope that answers your question.
  4. 80sbaby

    yeh that does clear up alot! seriously thank you!
    Another question if you dont mind me picking you brain.
    "Drug offense punishable by punishable by more than 5 years"
    ok, so lets say you catch a distribution charge, that can carry up to 5 or more years, but your sentenced to 3 years in prison.
    does that charge qualify, or it only qualifies on the sentencing.
    So if your sentenced on a charge of 5 years or more, the felony can apply to 3 strikes law, but if your sentenced to 3 years, it cant.
    it doesnt matter how long you specifically got sentenced, just the simple fact the charge could carry 5 or more years, is even for it to qualify when they apply the 3 strikes law.

    btw, if i asked my lawyer this question, i know the first thing he'd say would be "quit fuckin around and get your life str8; call me when you get arrested! bye!"
  5. EscapeDummy
    Clearly this man was a threat to society and needed to be removed from society :mad:. The 3 strikes law is so broken, in swim's opinion. Not sure if it's ever happened, but another controversy is the fact that a violent offender, during their 3rd strike, has no incentive not to kill witnesses and/or the police - they'll be going to jail for life regardless. A rapist or someone with serious violent crimes, who has committed 3 felonies, deserves a life sentence. A triple felony shoplifter or drug dealer... imo could be straightened out with a 20 year sentence.
  6. 80sbaby
    honestly though, considering that drugs play a natural role in human evolution, all throughout history,
    i gotta believe that no matter how long you sentence someone to prison, when they come out, they only try that much harder to make up for the time lost.
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