A New Iberia man was sentenced to life in prison Friday in the May 9, 2008, shooting death of 72-year-old Sidney Long Jr., a longtime New Iberia businessman.
A jury convicted Easton Francisco of first-degree murder Wednesday after deliberating for only 41 minutes, 16th Judicial First Assistant District Attorney Bo Duhe said.
Long was shot inside his gun shop on Center Street during a robbery.
Long had been shot five times, including a shot through the left bridge of his nose and once in the lower back side of his head, Duhe said.
Authorities recovered five fired .25-caliber casings and one fired .380-caliber casing at the scene, Duhe said.
Earlier this year, Francisco’s co-defendant, Akeem Evans, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 40-year prison sentence in exchange for agreeing to testify in the case, according to his plea agreement.
Duhe said Francisco was not eligible for the death penalty because an earlier mental examination determined that he was mildly retarded.
Duhe said Francisco refused to take part in his own trial and did not appear in court during both days of the trial.
“It’s happened only twice in my career,” Duhe said.