Bobby James

Bobby James, of Sullen Place in New Orleans, was indicted by a Jefferson Parish grand jury on Aug. 18, 2016 for second degree murder and attempted armed robbery. 

A Jefferson Parish jury this week found Algiers resident Bobby James guilty of second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery for fatally shooting Dwayne Baptiste in the back outside a Metairie apartment on May 3, 2016.

At the time, James was awaiting trial in New Orleans in connection with a home invasion robbery and killing in Algiers, but he had been released without bail because his case was taking too long to go to trial. Those charges are still pending. 

The jury delivered its verdict Thursday night, and James, 25, will be sentenced Nov. 2 by Judge Stephen Enright of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna. Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without possibility of parole, probation or suspended sentence in Louisiana.

Baptiste, 27, tried to run out of the building in the 200 block of Lake Avenue when James shot him. A neighbor found Baptiste slumped in a stairwell with a gunshot wound to the back, barely alive. He died three days later.

Police said Baptiste had been carrying a lot of cash before he was shot that day, but Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick's office said James was charged only with attempted armed robbery because no witnesess saw him take money from Baptiste's pockets as he lay wounded.

At the time, James had been out of prison in New Orleans for just over a year as he awaited trial for the shooting of Corey Bush in Algiers in 2012.

The Jefferson Parish jurors heard testimony regarding that case, in which Bush, 35, returned to his Brunswick Court home earlier than usual on Dec. 11, 2012, and found James allegedly robbing his family. James then fatally shot Bush in the chest and abdomen, police said.

James was charged in New Orleans four months later with armed robbery and second-degree murder, but New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office dropped the charges in February 2015 and refiled them two days later, according to court records.

James pleaded not guilty and his attorney invoked his right to a speedy trial. A judge granted his release from prison without bail the following month, on March 6.

Court records indicate he was present for subsequent court hearings in the Orleans Parish case.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.