A man from the Knight Community in Vernon Parish was found guilty yesterday in the 30th Judicial Court for the 2017 murder of a Merryville man.

Randall Paul Burton, age 46, was convicted in of second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the Feb. 1, 2017 death of Cody Fletcher, age 35, of Merryville.

The trial began Monday and concluded with the jury deliberating for an hour and 35 minutes.

“Based on the facts of the case, the verdicts were just,” said District Attorney Asa Skinner. “This was a terrible tragedy that cost the life of Cody Fletcher. I am glad we could get justice for his family.”

The murder occurred in the Knight Community on Joshlin Pit Road in Vernon Parish. Burton called 911 claiming to have shot someone at a nearby residence.

Police soon arrived on the scene to find Fletcher dead in the yard of the residence.

After investigating the details of the incident, Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Detectives arrested Burton that day.

While awaiting trial,  Burton was held on a $15,500,000 bond.

“The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department did an outstanding job in there handling of this case, as did the attorneys involved in the prosecution and the defense,” Skinner said.
Judge C. Anthony Eaves has set Friday, April 27 as the sentencing date for Burton.


The Louisiana revised statute for second degree murder states that punishment shall be life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a penalty of not less than 10 nor more than 20 years without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence to include the possibility of a fine not less than $1000 nor more than $5000.