LAFAYETTE — A Kaplan man accused in the March 2010 killing of a Pizza Hut delivery driver in Lafayette was found guilty Wednesday in an unrelated April 2009 second-degree robbery.
A jury of 12 deliberated for a little more than an hour before returning a unanimous guilty verdict against Aaron Orlando Richards, 35, who now faces a prison sentence ranging from three to 40 years.
Richards has been jailed without bail at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center since August 2010, when he was arrested in the stabbing death of Timothy Falgout.
Authorities have said that Richards allegedly stabbed and killed Falgout during a robbery attempt while Falgout was delivering a pizza to a home in the 300 block of Rue Canard in Lafayette Parish.
Prosecutor Cynthia Simon said the April 2009 robbery occurred outside of Buffalo Wild Wings on Ambassador Caffery Parkway.
Simon said Richards pulled up in a vehicle behind a 19-year-old woman and punched her twice in the face while she exiting her car.
Richards then stole the woman’s purse and sped away in a vehicle, Simon said.
The blows broke the woman’s nose and cut her face, Simon said.
The state intends to use the conviction during Richard’s pending first-degree murder case.
Authorities have said that Richards was linked to Falgout’s killing by DNA taken from a folding knife left at the scene of the killing.
A second man, Marcus Joseph Feast, is accused of driving Richards to the scene of the killing, and is charged with principal to first-degree murder.
During closing arguments, Simon said Richards attempted to use the woman’s stolen credit card at a Walmart in Abbeville less than an hour after the robbery. The card was used again shortly afterward at a gas station in Kaplan, she said.
Surveillance footage from Walmart shows Richards and another man, identified as Darvin Williams, attempting to use the card, she said.
In the footage, Richards is wearing a green shirt, which matched the description given by the victim, Simon said.
Richards was represented by defense attorney Harold D. Register Jr.
During his closing arguments, Register told jurors that Williams was the man behind the robbery.
“The person who done it ain’t here,” Register said.
Register said a possible explanation for the matching shirt is that Williams asked his client to switch shirts with him before entering the store, likely because the store had surveillance cameras.
Simon said Williams is not on trial because there was no evidence that Williams actually participated in the robbery.
While bailiffs led Richards out of the courtroom Wednesday, he turned and yelled in the direction of detectives, “Y’all still ain’t done y’all’s jobs!”
State District Judge Patrick L. Michot will sentence Richards at a later date.
“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Register said.
The defense attorney said he would wait until after sentencing to decide whether to appeal the case.