Shootout with police results in 40 years

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – A Gretna man involved in a 2003 shoot-out with St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputies pled guilty Thursday to two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of armed robbery.

In exchange for his plea, Arthur Morris, 28, of Gretna, received a 40-year sentence with the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

District Attorney Harry J. Morel Jr. said Morris will not receive the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. He said Morris must serve 85 percent, or 34 years, of his prison term before he can become eligible for a “good time release.”

Sheriff’s deputies from St. James, St. John and St. Charles Parishes pursued Morris through St. Charles Parish in a high-speed chase on Feb. 2, 2003, according to a spokesman with the D.A.’s office.

The representative said a spike strip was set up to puncture and deflate the tires on Morris’s automobile. She said, after Morris’s tires went flat the felon got out of the vehicle and began shooting at sheriff’s officers.

Morris was captured and his vehicle was searched.

Authorities determined the vehicle was stolen during an armed robbery.

“I would like to thank the deputies for their bravery and diligence. By putting their lives at risk, they were able to apprehend a dangerous criminal,” said Morel. “The men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office can not be praised enough for their valiant efforts to keep this parish safe.”

Assistant District Attorney Kim McElwee prosecuted the case against Morris before District Judge Kirk R. Granier.