Unarmed suspects in Louisiana and nationwide have been shot by police, sometimes fatally, in a pattern of similar controversial incidents in recent years. The cloak of suspicion has been cast on police behavior because the suspect is usually unarmed, leaving few if any legitimate reasons to justify police use of deadly force. A twist on those facts occurred on Oct. 6 in Houma when the suspect allegedly weaponized his car in trying to run down and kill a sheriff’s deputy, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office. The incident ultimately resulted in the suspect’s arrest for several offenses, including attempted murder, property destruction and drug charges for possession of crystal meth.
However, he won’t be answering those charges immediately because he is hospitalized in stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds. It appears that after he allegedly tried to run down and kill the deputy who was approaching the suspect’s vehicle on foot, that officer and others got off numerous gun shots against the man while he fled in his car. The officers then engaged in a car chase of the suspect through the streets of Houma.
The sheriff’s office says that the incident began when a deputy tried to stop the man for an observed traffic violation. He allegedly refused to stop but instead fled away, driving erratically and recklessly. He eventually crashed into a fence and a residence, whereupon he was apprehended and transported to a hospital, according to deputies. It was after the crash that authorities claim to have found crystal meth in the suspect’s car.
The prosecution for attempted murder is problematic because authorities will have to prove that he drove at the approaching deputy with the specific intent to kill him. He may have just as likely been trying to evade apprehension with no intention of hitting the officer. A seasoned defense lawyer familiar with criminal defense strategies in Louisiana may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that will ultimately result in dropping the attempted murder charge in return for a plea to less serious offenses. The parties will also want to dispose of the drug charges as part of the deal.