Juvenile Court judges push for move to downtown Baton Rouge courthouse, claim safety is a concern at current building _lowres (copy)

The 19th Judicial District Courthouse is located on North Blvd. in downtown Baton Rouge. 

A Baton Rouge man who first told authorities his longtime girlfriend fatally shot herself, then said he accidentally shot her at her apartment, was unanimously convicted Friday of second-degree murder in her 2014 death.

Jason Allen Bringier, 38, now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison in the killing of Lucinda Ann White, 30, after a trial that included the testimony of one of her children.

White’s 10-year-old son, who was 4 at the time of his mother’s death, testified Friday that he was downstairs when he heard a noise upstairs that sounded like a “bump.” Before that, he said, he had tried to go into his upstairs bedroom to watch a movie but the door was locked. That room is where his mother died.

Bringier, who is the biological father of two of White’s three young boys, did not testify at his trial. But his attorney, Brady Skinner, argued to an East Baton Rouge Parish jury that Bringier accidentally shot White on March 24, 2014, when she stumbled into him in one of her children's bedrooms in her Toulon Street apartment.

Prosecutors April Leon and Anjelica Torrance argued that Bringier intentionally shot White after forcing his way into the upstairs bedroom and holding her down on a bed. White’s autopsy revealed fresh injuries to her wrists, they said.

A balled-up, bloody sweater found at the foot of the bed near White's body contained bone and bullet fragments, hair from her body, as well as gunpowder burn marks, the prosecutors said. They argued Bringier used the sweater to muffle the sound of the gunshot.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated for about an hour and 15 minutes before finding Bringier guilty as charged. He will be sentenced Oct. 24.

White’s mother, Dawn Van, said afterward outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse that her daughter’s death was a case of domestic violence.

“She was leaving him,” Van said.

Van said the guilty verdict is the justice she’s been seeking for more than five years, but what she really wants — but knows she cannot have — is her daughter back.

“I’m so happy but I’m so sad,” she said through tears.

Van said her daughter loved her boys, and she loves her grandchildren.

“Now I have to raise three children,” she said. “I just want to go home and hug the kids.”

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.