Gonzales man gets 6-year sentence for shooting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012



LAPLACE – A Gonzales man who pleaded guilty in November to shooting two Hispanic men in the Bonnet Carre Spillway in 2006 was given a six-year prison sentence Thursday, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans.

Mark Gautreau, 50, was sentenced in federal court in New Orleans following his guilty plea to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

In the factual basis supporting his plea, Gautreau admitted that he was in a parking lot in the spillway when he told a bystander that he intended to “shoot some Mexicans.” Gautreau admitted that he then loaded ammunition into his 12-gauge shotgun and drove off toward the area where four Hispanic men were fishing.  

Gautreau admitted that once he reached them, he got out of his truck and fired his shotgun one time.

The shotgun blast hit two of the Hispanic men, who suffered injuries that required hospitalization. Gautreau admitted that the four Hispanic men did not shoot at him or threaten him in any way that would require him to defend himself, according to the factual basis.

“Justice has been met for the two Hispanic men who were the victims of a random act of violence,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “The department is committed to vigorously enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws.”

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said in a statement that his office would “remain true to our commitment to fiercely protect the rights of all within our borders to be free from abuse and violence with the Civil Rights Division and the FBI.”

The New Orleans office of the FBI investigated the case. Trial Attorney Angie Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Greenfield of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans prosecuted the case.