Jefferson man faces life sentence in killing acquaintance, abuse _lowres

Jacoby Maize

Jacoby Maize, convicted earlier this month of shooting the man who called 911 to report him for spousal abuse, was sentenced Monday to life in prison, plus 55 years.

Maize, 38, of Kenner, smiled and chuckled to himself as Justin Hendricks Sr., the father of victim Justin Hendricks Jr., wept on the stand and called Maize a liar and a coward, according to Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s office.

“For five years, I have waited for this day,” Hendricks testified. “The Lord has answered my prayers. For five years, I’ve waited to lay eyes on my son’s murderer: you. I have finally gotten justice.”

Hendricks Jr. called 911 the day after Maize pistol-whipped Maize’s wife, Cynthia Cruz, in Hendricks’ Old Jefferson house.

That same day — April 25, 2011 — Maize confronted Hendricks, shot him in the pelvis and left him to bleed to death on the floor. He returned early the next morning with two cans of gasoline to set the house on fire, with Hendricks’ body still in it.

Maize contended during his trial that it was Cruz who killed Hendricks and burned the house down, but a jury convicted him of murder and six other charges after a trial before Judge Henry Sullivan, of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.

Sullivan, who also denied Maize a new trial on Monday, sentenced him to the mandatory life sentence for second-degree murder, 15 years for the aggravated second-degree battery, 20 years for each of the firearm charges, 40 years for witness intimidation, 20 years for aggravated arson and 10 years for aggravated assault.

Some of the sentences will run consecutively, resulting in an additional 55 years on top of the life sentence. Maize is not eligible for parole or probation.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Lindsay Truhe prosecuted the case.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.