After Ronnie Kato seriously wounded Baton Rouge police officers Derrick Maglone and Glenn Hutto Jr. from inside a car with heavily tinted windows, Hutto crawled to an unconscious Maglone and radioed for help — before Kato stood over Hutto with an assault-style rifle and ended his life, a detective testified Friday.
Hutto's body camera shut off after he was initially shot April 26 in the backyard of a home on Conrad Drive in the city's Howell Park neighborhood, but the audio from Maglone's body camera captured what occurred next, Baton Rouge Police homicide detective Logan Collins said during an emotional probable cause hearing in Kato's first-degree murder case.
The man accused of killing Baton Rouge Police Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. and another man in April is entitled to a prompt probable cause hearing, a l…
"You hear two shots and his voice fades," Collins testified inside state District Judge Richard Anderson's courtroom. "Those final two shots, Mr. Kato was standing over Sgt. Hutto."
Members of Hutto's family cried during the hearing.
Hutto, 45, a 21-year veteran of the police force, received the rank of lieutenant posthumously. Maglone, 35, was critically injured and released from the hospital May 7. He has the rank of corporal.
At the conclusion of Friday's hours-long hearing, Anderson found probable cause to hold Kato, 36, of Baton Rouge, on the first-degree murder charges on which he was arrested.
Kato's case has not been taken to an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury, but prosecutor Dana Cummings said Friday that will happen soon. Kato is being held without bail.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said his office intends to seek the death penalty.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III's office has taken two death penalty cases to trial during his 11-year tenure. The …
Kato is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend's stepfather, Curtis Richardson, on Pamela Drive off North Sherwood Forest Drive about three hours before shooting Hutto to death.
Collins, the lead police detective on the case, testified Friday that the same AR-15 assault-style rifle was used to kill both men.
After killing Richardson, 58, during a domestic dispute about 9:30 a.m., Kato fled the scene in his girlfriend's Chrysler 300, which was eventually tracked by GPS to a Walmart in Port Allen, the detective said. Video from the store showed Kato being picked up from the store in a dark Honda Accord, which was tracked to the registered owner's home on Conrad Drive, he said.
Conrad is off Winbourne Avenue and North Foster Drive.
Hutto and Maglone were two of the half-dozen or so officers sent to the home on Conrad, Collins said.
While officers were speaking outside with several occupants of the house, the woman who owns the Honda came out of the house and told officers that Kato was in the car in the backyard and he knew they were there, the detective testified.
Moments later, "gunfire erupts from inside the vehicle," he said.
Maglone was shot first and apparently went into an immediate coma, Collins said. Hutto was then shot in the right shoulder. Neither officer was able to return fire.
"Sgt. Hutto turns and we can hear him scream out in pain," the detective said.
Hutto, whose right arm and hand were incapacitated by the shot to his shoulder, crawls toward Maglone and radios for help, Collins said.
Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. spent the final moments of his life doing what he was best known for — standing beside his subordinates and showing them w…
After wounding both officers, Kato emerges from the car and "takes a shooting stance," he said.
Kato eventually stands over Hutto, fatally shoots him and walks into the house, the detective said, adding that body camera footage captured Kato carrying the rifle during the attack on the officers and firing it.
Collins said three other officers returned fire at Kato.
The detective said 13 AR-15 shell casings were found inside the car, and an empty magazine -- which has a capacity to hold 20 to 30 bullets -- was discovered in the backyard.
Collins also said the Accord's passenger seat was folded down in an effort to hide the shooter from view.
Kato barricaded himself in the house after the shooting and was taken into custody after a standoff with police that lasted several hours. He surrendered after authorities gassed the house and tore a side off the house with an armored vehicle, the detective said.
Collins said he spoke with Kato by phone for about 30 seconds during the standoff, and Kato told him, "I don't want to hurt anybody else."
Joshua Schwartz, a lawyer with the Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans who was representing Kato on Friday, asked Collins about Kato's demeanor during the brief phone call.
"Actually, pretty controlled," Collins replied. "I would have thought he would be more upset."
Anderson, the judge who is presiding over the case, appointed lawyer Bruce Unangst as Kato's lead attorney. Unangst is certified to handle capital murder cases. The judge appointed Schwartz as Kato's associate counsel.
The man accused of fatally shooting Baton Rouge Police Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. in April is indigent and in need of two lawyers certified to handle…
Schwartz objected, saying he had enrolled in the case only for the limited purpose of protecting Kato's rights.