Matthew Mire Livingston Parish

Matthew Mire. Photo provided by the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.

Matthew Mire pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he shot and killed a state trooper and one of his relatives in Prairieville during a string of shootings last month that left three others in Ascension and Livingston parishes injured.

Authorities have said Mire, 31, of Livingston, ambushed Master Trooper Adam Gaubert while he sat in his patrol car writing reports near the intersection of Airline and Jefferson highways in Prairieville.

Moments after killing the trooper, Mire arrived at a house less than a mile away and shot two of his relatives, leaving one, 37-year-old Pamela Adair, dead, police said.

An Ascension Parish grand jury indicted Mire on Oct. 14, five days after the string of shootings shocked residents and the law enforcement community, on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, home invasion, attempted armed robbery and other charges.

His arraignment at the Ascension Parish Courthouse in Gonzales is a formal process that follows an indictment, in which a defendant states his or her plea to the charges that have been handed down by the closed-door panel of parish residents.

With his head shaved and his hands shackled at his waist, Mire wore an orange jumpsuit and a face mask and was escorted into the courtroom amid a heavy law enforcement presence Tuesday.

At least seven deputies and two bailiffs were standing guard in the courtroom while a handful of uniformed and plainclothes State Police officers sat with the parents of Gaubert in the front row. Mire walked past them toward his attorneys. Family of at least one other victim sat behind Gauberts' parents.

After one of Mire's capital defense attorneys, Russell Barksdale, pleaded not guilty on Mire's behalf to the first of the two murder counts, the lawyer asked to waive the reading of the remaining charges. Judge Tess Stromberg refused, and Clerk of Court Bridget Hanna read out the rest. Barksdale entered the remaining not guilty pleas.

With conviction on the first-degree murder counts in Ascension, Mire could face the death penalty or at minimum a mandatory life sentence. 

When asked after the arraignment if his office would seek the death penalty, 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin said he didn't know yet. Christine Lehmann, one of Mire's other capital defense attorneys, also declined to comment. 

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It's also not clear if Ascension prosecutors will take the lead in pursuing a trial over their charges before any future charge are brought in the other two parishes. Tyler Cavalier, spokesman for Babin, also declined any comment. 

Mire, who is being held at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, hasn't been indicted yet over any charges he may end up facing in East Baton Rouge or Livingston parishes, according to prosecutors and court records. 

But he has been booked in both East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes on multiple counts, including in Livingston two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of home invasion, vehicle theft and vehicle burglary, deputies have said.

The string of shootings began in the early morning hours of Oct. 9 and led to a multiparish manhunt that lasted throughout the day, ending after 10 p.m. when police took Mire into custody.

Mire has been accused of busting into a trailer home on La. 444 in French Settlement and shooting his neighbors around midnight. He then ran through a nearby woods and stole a truck from another house, according to law enforcement.

He drove the truck to Ascension Parish, where he ambushed Gaubert and shot his relatives.

The manhunt started after he shot at another trooper a couple hours later during an attempted traffic stop. He was ultimately arrested that night near Bayou Manchac in the southeastern corner of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Mire has been booked in East Baton Rouge on counts of aggravated flight from an officer, attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, illegal possession of stolen firearms, obstruction of justice and misdemeanor resisting an officer after detectives.

Officials have said Mire was sent to Angola because of the severity of his charges. Usually criminal defendants are housed in local jails until their cases are adjudicated.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.