LIVINGSTON — Robae Arron Austin received a life sentence Thursday in the 2009 murder of Gregory “Scopie” Brumfield, who authorities said was a witness to a homicide that occurred earlier the same day on the same street.
The two drive-by killings on July 23, 2009, were handled by different sheriff’s offices because one shooting occurred on the Livingston Parish side of Drake Road and the other occurred hours later on the Tangipahoa Parish side.
Those shootings were followed by a third incident in which a woman was killed and her husband wounded in Tangipahoa Parish in what authorities said was an additional attempt to cover up the other shootings, which started with a dispute over a dice game.
Arms covered with tattoos, — including one of Mickey Mouse — Austin, 33, simply shook his head when District Judge Zoey Waguespack asked him Thursday if he had anything to say as he stood in court shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit.
After denying a defense motion for a new trial, Waguespack sentenced Austin to life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
At the conclusion of a three-day trial in April, a jury deliberated about an hour before convicting Austin for the murder of Brumfield, 27, who was shot multiple times while he stood outside his house along Drake Road near Albany.
Brumfield was killed seven hours after Clifton “Lil Twin” Calcota was shot to death about 700 feet away. That homicide appears to have been a case of mistaken identity, Assistant District Attorney Charlotte Suir said.
A month after the first two people were killed, two more people were shot in Tangipahoa Parish in a case investigators said appeared to be linked to the two July 23 homicides.
In the third case, a couple was shot in Baptist after several men invaded their home looking for a man who wasn’t present in the house but may have had information about a truck used in one of the Drake Road killings, authorities said.
Several people await trial in connection with the shootings in Tangipahoa Parish.