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NC high court won't hear appeal in pregnant Marine's murder

Posted August 29, 2012

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— The North Carolina Supreme Court has declined hearing the appeal of a former Marine convicted of killing his pregnant comrade almost five years ago.

A jury found Cesar Laurean guilty in 2010 of first-degree murder in the December 2007 death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, who was nearly 8 months pregnant. He is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The case attracted national attention after Laurean fled Jacksonville hours before Lauterbach's burned body was found buried in his backyard in January 2008. He was arrested three months later in a small town in western Mexico.

The state Court of Appeals upheld the conviction in May, ruling against defense arguments that the trial judge should have allowed jurors to hear evidence about Lauterbach's behavior – she accused Laurean of rape and then recanted – and allowed the jury to consider a second-degree murder charge.

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  • trekkie13 Aug 30, 2012

    smalldogsrule stated: "It would have been nice if the supreme court would have over turned the ruling and allowed for a new trial, then prosecutors could seek the death peanalty he deserves. Only reason he didn't get it is because Mexico would not allow for his extradition if it was on the table."

    The North Carolina Supreme Court would not have lawful authority anyway to authorize a new trial with the death penalty on the table. Once he was extradited back to the United States he could never be sentenced to capital punishment for that specific charge. The US Secretary of States office has lawful authority to ensure he was not sentenced to capital punishment for that specific charge. State courts are trumped by federal law and federal rulings and treaties.

  • smalldogsrule Aug 30, 2012

    It would have been nice if the supreme court would have over turned the ruling and allowed for a new trial, then prosecutors could seek the death peanalty he deserves. Only reason he didn't get it is because Mexico would not allow for his extradition if it was on the table.

  • awood2 Aug 30, 2012

    good! I am glad they are not going to hear his appeal. He did it, then fled to Mexico to hide like a coward! You deserve to be where you are.

  • SFSOLDIER Aug 30, 2012

    He is where he deserves to be..in the "can" for the rest of his life!

  • Thought Criminal WS Aug 30, 2012

    He deserved the death penalty. No appeal, no probation.

  • not my real name Aug 30, 2012

    He should be doing a life sentence for the baby too. Couldn't he have just left her alone and went to Mexico by himself? Why do these men think they have the right to kill women? It's not the only option. This guys should never see the light of day again.

  • JAT Aug 30, 2012

    It wouldn't matter if the woman had jumped up and down and called his mama names - HE KILLED HER. Although, it's my opinion the wife and/or others know more about it than what they've told.

  • wmp8396 Aug 29, 2012

    Victims don't get to appeal now do they???

  • affirmativediversity Aug 29, 2012

    Did they really base his appeal on a "you didn't let us sling muck all over his victim"...how pathetic!!!

  • Scubagirl Aug 29, 2012

    Good! He should be happy with the fact that he didn't get the death penalty. May he rot in prison.