A West Baton Rouge man, on Thursday, July 24, was found guilty of second-degree murder for his part in the 2012 fatal shooting of a Brusly High School student.
Marcus Richardson, 24, of Port Allen, shot and killed Brusly student Justin Warner after a fight broke out in the parking lot of the LA-1 Truck Plaza in Port Allen.
A May 31, 2012, article in the West Side Journal noted that Warner, who was 18 when he was shot and killed, was not a participant in the physical altercation that occurred in the parking lot of the gas station before the shots were fired.
“His lawyer tried to argue that it was manslaughter, but it was not,” Ricky Ward, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, said of Richardson’s attorney, Tommy Damico. “(Richardson) had plenty of time to cool off before he shot this young man down. He just shot him pointblank.”
Damico’s argument of manslaughter over second-degree murder, though, was unsuccessful as the WBR jury convicted Richardson of the murder charge.
“One young man got killed, now another one’s going away to prison for the rest of his life, so I wouldn’t say I was happy about it,” said Ward. “I think the jury made the right decision. I think justice was done.”
Ward said that a second-degree murder charge, in Louisiana, carries a mandatory life sentence without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
“Every time I have a trial that ends in a conviction like this, it appears to be two young men – one dead and one going away for the rest of his life,” Ward said. “My hope is always that it would send a message to the young people that you can’t kill somebody just because you get mad at them. If you do, you surrender the rest of your life.”
Less than two weeks after Warner was killed, his cousin Etan Irving, 28, was killed outside of the RaceTrac gas station on La. 1 in Port Allen. Police arrested Richardson’s brother, Carl Richardson, and charged him with second-degree murder.
Ward said that Carl Richardson’s trial will take place within the next two months.
“It’ll be another murder trial, more than likely,” Ward said.
The shootings, which took place in 2012, were based from a long standing rivalry between the Lukeville and Tombstone areas in West Baton Rouge Parish.