A Clinton man who told authorities he killed a former BREC commissioner and two other men in 2017 to fill hunting “tags” issued to him by the government was not insane at the time of the shootings in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes, according to doctors who examined him.
After receiving the doctors’ reports, ad hoc Judge Bruce Bennett on Wednesday set a March 2 trial date for accused serial killer Ryan Sharpe in the September 2017 slaying of Carroll Breeden Sr. – an ex-BREC commissioner killed in East Baton Rouge.
“It’s just one step closer. It’s been 736 days we’ve had this anger, been waiting for this day,” Breeden’s daughter, Marcie Breeden Flotte, said afterward outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse. “We’re not stopping.”
Sharpe, 38, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Breeden, 66, who was gunned down while working in his front yard on Pride-Port Hudson Road. Sharpe has entered a dual plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
A sanity hearing for alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe, who is accused of slaying three men and wounding another in four shootings in East Bat…
Sharpe’s lead attorney, Tommy Damico, said a jury will ultimately decide whether Sharpe was sane when he allegedly killed Breeden.
In neighboring East Feliciana Parish, Sharpe is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal July 2017 shooting of Thomas Bass, 62, and first-degree murder in the October 2017 killing of Brad DeFranceschi, 48. He’s also charged with attempted first-degree murder in the September 2017 wounding of Buck Hornsby. Sharpe also has entered a dual plea to those charges.
Sharpe has a Dec. 9 trial date in East Feliciana, but Damico said additional motions still could be filed in that parish.
An East Feliciana Sheriff’s Office report says Sharpe told investigators he killed to fill government-issued hunting "tags." Sharpe said he had additional tags that hadn’t been filled when he was arrested in October 2017, the report states.
Sharpe called police and identified himself as the shooter, authorities have said.
A man accused of killing three Clinton-area men last year told investigators he shot them because — as though he were deer hunting — he was "f…
Three doctors were appointed by the court to evaluate Sharpe and opine on his sanity at the time of the shootings.
Bennett on Wednesday sealed the doctors’ reports at the request of Brent Stockstill, one of Sharpe’s attorneys. Prosecutor Ron Gathe said he had no objection to the sealing.
Sharpe has been declared competent to stand trial by judges in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana.
“We continue to maintain not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity,” Damico said afterward by phone. “We believe the jury will find one of those verdicts.”
If a jury finds Sharpe not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be civilly committed and would not be subject to any criminal penalties, Damico said previously.
The shootings occurred within a 25-mile radius of Clinton. Sharpe's alleged victims were either working or walking on their properties near the road when they were shot.
Alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe, facing a trial in the 2017 slaying of a former BREC commissioner, was declared capable to aid in his defens…
Bass was killed outside his La. 960 residence; DeFranceschi was fatally shot outside his home on the Avondale Scout Reservation on La. 63; and Hornsby was wounded outside his residence close to La. 63. Hornsby was shot a week before Breeden was killed.
After Sharpe was arrested, detectives found a .351-caliber rifle at his home through a search warrant, records show. Two shell casings found separately at the shootings of Breeden and DeFranceschi were matched by ballistics and were also determined to have matched the rifle from his home.
In addition to the trial date next March, Bennett scheduled a Nov. 6 motion hearing in the case involving Breeden’s death.