Terry Flanagan

A Zachary homeowner accused of fatally shooting a fleeing 15-year-old burglar and dragging his body into a nearby yard pleaded not guilty Monday in the teen's slaying.

Terry L. Flanagan, 60, was indicted last month on a second-degree murder count in the killing of Zachary High School ninth-grader Chadarion Brooks Spurlock.

Flanagan, of 1147 Willow Creek Drive, allegedly caught Spurlock 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 have said.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said there was no justification for Flanagan to use deadly force against Spurlock because the boy was fleeing the man's home.

A homicide is justifiable under Louisiana law if someone “reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm.” The state'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.”

Flanagan, a felon who remains behind bars in the fatal shooting, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

State District Judge Tarvald Smith on Monday scheduled a motion hearing in the case for March 11.

The two other teens who were allegedly with Spurlock the day of the burglary — his cousin Melvin Brooks, now 20, and Dwighttess Thomas, now 21 — face simple burglary charges in Baton Rouge state court.

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