On July 15, 2021, an Ascension Parish jury found 34-year-old James Batiste of 16117 Monica Rd. Prairieville, LA., guilty of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder. Batiste was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Leila Braswell, and presiding over this matter is the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets. Batiste was on trial for his involvement in a 2018 shooting inside the Gonzales city limits.
On July 1, 2018, officers with the Gonzales Police Department responded to a Gonzales restaurant parking lot in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a male subject suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his body. The shooter was quickly identified as James Batiste. Following the shooting, Batiste fled the area, but was located and apprehended shortly after. Detectives learned that Batiste and the victim were involved in a conversation when Batiste exited a vehicle and brandished a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. As the victim attempted to flee the area, Batiste fired multiple gunshots at the victim striking him in the shoulder and back. Batiste was subsequently booked into the Ascension Parish Jail. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for injuries and subsequently released.
Upon the jury rendering a guilty verdict in this matter, Judge Verdigets ordered that sentencing be deferred to a later date pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation. Batiste faces up to 50 years in state prison.