A 33-year-old Baker man has been charged with aggravated battery and second-degree murder after he allegedly shot one man and assaulted another during a dice game on Saturday. The shooting took place after several men began arguing over money. The gunshot victim died several hours later during surgery.

The man reportedly has a lengthy criminal history, and is currently on probation on a weapons charge from 2008. As a result of the new charges, prosecutors are planning to seek revocation of his probation. Among the offenses on the man’s record is an attempted robbery of the former Cajun Circus Casino on La. 30 in Gonzales. 

In that incident, he and other suspects attacked a video poker outlet, shot and killed a security guard, and fled after they were unable to access the cash room. He and several others were later arrested in connection with the incident. At trial, he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to repeat testimony given before a grand jury that implicated another defendant as the shooter. Because of that, his charge was increased from armed robbery to second-degree murder.

The man has reportedly been booked on at least a dozen charges since his 17th birthday.

In building a strong criminal defense case, it is important to consider the potential impact of previous convictions. Some prior convictions—serious ones involving acts of dishonesty—can be used in order to impeach a defendant’s testimony, to attach his or her character of truthfulness. Prior convictions cannot, to be sure, be used as evidence that the defendant is guilty of current charges, but they may be used as evidence of the defendant’s motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identify, and several other circumstances.  

Putting together a strong criminal defense is not an easy task, and it is worthwhile to work with an experienced defense attorney in doing so. 

Source: The Advocate, “BR murder suspect had lengthy criminal history,” Jim Mustian, June 11, 2013.