One shot, two in custody after St. James High basketball game _lowres

Kylin Elder

A Convent man has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison in a plea deal with prosecutors, bringing an end to a nearly 6-year-old case involving a drive-by shooting outside a high school gym in St. James Parish.

Under the plea deal, prosecutors in St. James Parish also agreed to dismiss aggravated rape charges from 2013 that also had been pending against the man, Kylin Elder, who is now 23.

The shooting happened on the night of Jan. 14, 2014, after a boys basketball game between cross-parish rivals Lutcher and St. James high school on the St. James High campus, which at that time was along the Mississippi River in the west bank community of St. James. 

The shooting in the St. James High's overflow parking lot occurred as people were leaving the gym about 10 minutes after St. James High beat Lutcher High that night.

Elder, then 17, had dropped out of Lutcher High two months before the shooting, school officials said at the time. 

Elder and the victim, a 19-year-old who was a senior at Lutcher High at the time, were on opposite sides of a rivalry between youths in the east bank communities of Convent and Lutcher. Officials said then that the dispute didn't stem from the Lutcher-St. James game. 

Prosecutors said the 19-year-old, suffering multiple gunshot wounds, had approached a sheriff's deputy, telling the deputy that Elder had just pulled up in a car, pointed a gun out the window and shot at him several times.

The man survived and later told sheriff's detectives that he and Elder had had past disputes. Other witnesses corroborated the victim's account of the shooting, prosecutors said.

Under the plea agreement, Elder, 9361 Water Tower St., admitted he shot the 19-year-old and accepted an attempted second-degree murder charge. Prosecutors also recommended the 15-year sentence that Judge Tess Stromberg handed down last week.

Elder had been accused of the rape counts while still a juvenile but was being tried as an adult before they were dropped. 

The attempted second-degree murder case, going on for years, had been through several continuances.

The scene of the shooting is no longer St. James High. Yuhuang Chemical bought the old high school property a few years ago to clear the path for the company's new methanol facility now under construction nearby.

School officials have since built a new St. James High farther downriver in the Vacherie area.  

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