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In what is now becoming an historic election for Caddo Parish, the sheriff's race is back in court.  The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal has heard Henry Whitehorn's appeal of the lower court’s ruling which calls for a new election.

Erin McCarty
Erin McCarty


In the runoff election on November 18th, Whitehorn beat John Nickelson by just one vote. The final count was 22,621 for Whitehorn, to 22,620 for Nickelson.  But Ad hoc Judge Joe Bleich said it was proven beyond a doubt there were at least 11 illegal votes cast.   

Shreveport attorney Royal Alexander told KEEL News on Monday morning:

The case is now in a completely different procedural posture. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal is completely tied to the trial court record and may not consider anything beyond that. That means the appeal judges and their clerks probably worked this weekend scrutinizing the trial court ruling and record, most notably, the witnesses and evidence introduced at trial. 

The point of the oral argument Monday is for the appeal judges to pepper the Whitehorn and Nickelson attorneys with any questions they may have. I think it likely the Whitehorn team will argue the trial court erred and should be reversed, (probably with the argument that Nickelson didn’t object in a timely manner), and the Nickelson team will simply argue that the trial court ruling was correct, and that the 2nd Circuit should affirm it. 


Whitehorn is hoping to overturn the ruling for a new election after opponent John Nickelson challenged Whitehorn’s one-vote victory. Political Analyst Scott Hughes expects the court will rule quickly. He says five judges will review briefings filed by both sides and question the attorneys. 

After Monday's hearing, when asked if the decision went against him today, and whether he would appeal to the Louisiana State Supreme Court, Whitehorn replied:

"We will just wait and see, how about that..."

When asked how he felt about the hearing today, candidate John Nickelson told KEEL News:

"We expect a good result from the Court of Appeal, but again, the decision is in their hands and we look forward to what they have to say."

During Monday's proceeding, each side was given 20 minutes to present their case, whereupon the judges peppered each side's attorneys with questions.  The judges hearing today's case included:

Judge Marcus L. Hunter

Monroe, Louisiana (2021)
First District, Section 1, Division C


  • Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Appellate Judge, elected to office 2021
  • Fourth Judicial District Court: Judge, District 4, Section 1, Division G, elected to office 2018
  • Louisiana House of Representatives, Representative – District 17, Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana (2012-2018)
  • Louisiana Public Defender (Bossier, Caddo and Ouachita parishes), 2008-2011
  • Northeast Louisiana Legal Services (NLLAC), Staff Attorney, 2008
  • Willie Hunter, Jr. & Associates, Associate Attorney, 2005-2018

Judge Jeff Cox

Second District, Division C


  • Appellate Judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Elected to office 2017
  • Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court: District Judge, Division C, Bossier-Webster Parishes.  Elected to office without opposition in 2004; re-elected in 2010 and 2015 without opposition
  • Bossier-Webster Parish District Attorney’s Office: Assistant District Attorney (2002-2004)
  • Mills, Turansky & Cox: Partner; specialized in Estate Planning, Wills, Successions, Elder Care law and business type issues.

Judge Shonda D. Stone

Shreveport, Louisiana (2016)
Third District, Section 1, Division A


  • Appellate Judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Elected March 5, 2016
  • Judicial Budgetary Control Board Member, appointed by Louisiana Supreme Court, 2015
  • Louisiana Judicial College Board of Governors, appointed by Louisiana Supreme Court, 2011
  • Juvenile Court Judge, Election Section 1C, Parish of Caddo, Elected October 4, 2008
  • Attorney at Law, Private Practice, Shreveport, Louisiana 1993 – 2008
  • Contract Attorney, Legal Services of Northwest Louisiana
  • Adjunct Professor, American Humanics (Non-profit Law) Louisiana State University
  • Professor, Criminal Justice, Grambling State University
  • Director, Student Judicial Affairs, Grambling State University
  • Notary Instructor, Caddo Parish School Board
  • Staff Attorney, Advocacy Center for the Elderly and Disabled

Judge Jeff Robinson

Second District, Section 1


  • Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, LA: Appellate Judge, elected to office 2021
  • Third Judicial District Court: Judge, Division “A”, served July 2018 – January 2021
  • Assistant District Attorney for the Second, Third, and Eighth JDC, serving as misdemeanor and felony prosecutor. Chief civil prosecutor for the 3rd JDC
  • Hearing Officer for the 8th JDC 2002-2004
  • Magistrate, Town of Jonesboro 1997-2004
  • Private Law Practice for twenty (23) years

Judge Craig O. Marcotte

Shreveport, Louisiana (2022)
Third District, Section 2, Division C


  • Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Shreveport, LA: Appellate Judge, 2022
  • First Judicial District Court, Shreveport, LA: Judge, 2009 to 2022
    • Presided over cases in criminal and civil court sections
  • Private Law Practice with Hicks, Hubley, and Marcotte for twenty (20) years
  • Louisiana District Court: Law Clerk to Judge James E. Bolin and Charles R. Scott, 1988 to 1989




A ruling from the 2nd circuit is expected within 24 hours. 

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