A 60-year-old Zachary man accused of killing a fleeing 15-year-old burglar and dragging the teen's body into a nearby yard is scheduled to make his first court appearance since being indicted on a second-degree murder charge.
Terry L. Flanagan, of 1147 Willow Creek Drive, will be arraigned Dec. 9 in front of state District Judge Tarvald Smith. An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Flanagan last week.
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A second-degree murder conviction would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
"We're still waiting for the reports and documentation related to this case," Flanagan's attorney, assistant public defender Carson Marcantel, said Friday outside Smith's 19th Judicial District courtroom.
Flanagan, a felon, allegedly caught Chadarion Brooks Spurlock — a Zachary High School ninth grader — and two other boys burglarizing his home on Oct. 21, 2017.
Spurlock jumped out of a window and landed in the yard, where Flanagan shot him once in his side and then again after Spurlock had fallen to the ground, Zachary Police Chief David McDavid has said. Flanagan then allegedly dragged the boy's body into another yard.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said last week there was no justification for Flanagan to use deadly force against Spurlock because the boy was fleeing the man's home.
Louisiana law states that a homicide is justifiable if someone “reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm.”
Louisiana's “stand your ground” law also allows killing to prevent an intruder from entering a building or vehicle if the occupant “reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave.”
McDavid has said investigators did not believe Flanagan’s life was in danger during the burglary and that he had “ample opportunity” to call police instead of taking action against the unarmed intruders himself.
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The two other teens who were with Spurlock that day — his cousin Melvin Brooks, now 20, and Dwighttess Thomas, now 21 — face simple burglary charges in Baton Rouge state court.
Flanagan was previously sentenced to life in prison for past convictions, but was released on parole in 2016. He was in and out of prison between 1978 and 1998 on separate convictions for attempted armed robbery, distribution of cocaine, simple criminal damage to property and simple burglary.