Local man convicted following 2015 Reserve killing; police concerned with post-conviction bond

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, July 4, 2018

EDGARD — A local man connected to a 2015 gun death faces decades in jail following guilty verdicts for attempted manslaughter, felon in possession of a firearm and illegal use of a weapon.

According to District Attorney Bridget A. Dinvaut’s office, Judge J. Sterling Snowdy set Juan Alexander’s sentencing for Aug. 14, while also setting a $150,000 post-conviction bond.

According to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, Alexander was released last week after posting a property bond and assigned a stay away order.

“It’s disheartening to see a habitual violent offender like Juan Alexander, who was found guilty after the hard work of the Sheriff’s Office and the D.A.’s Office, be given such a low post-conviction bond, which allowed him to be released,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “This only adds to witnesses of violent crime being reluctant to coming forward and assisting law enforcement on past, present and future cases.”

Alexander was found guilty, prosecutors say, June 14 after a three-day trial before a 12-person St. John jury, who also found the defendant not guilty of second degree murder.

Assistant District Attorney Henri P. Dufresne led the prosecution with assists by Justin Lacour and Christopher Cortez. Public Defender Shannon Batiste represented Alexander.

Alexander, 41, faces up to 20 years in prison for the attempted manslaughter conviction, a minimum of 10 years and up to 20 years in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and a maximum of 2 years in prison for illegal use of a weapon.

Dinvaut’s office filed a Habitual Offender Bill against Alexander because of two prior felony convictions.

Alexander, who authorities said has ties to LaPlace and Reserve, was arrested in late 2015, following the death of Demario Gray on Dec. 12, 2015, along River Road in Reserve. The gunshots also resulted in a second victim, who suffered gunshot wounds to the hand and stomach.

Also arrested in December 2015 was Bryant Hayes Jr.

Bryant Hayes Jr.

According to Dinvaut, prosecutors are still pursuing a criminal case against Hayes.

Following the arrests, police described the shooting as an altercation among “acquaintances.”

Gray, 29, of Reserve died a day after the shooting on Dec. 13, 2015. Detectives identified the second victim as a 30-year-old Reserve man.

St. John deputies first responded to the 1100 block of River Road in Reserve at 12:15 p.m. Dec. 12, 2015, following a report of gunshots. Deputies located a man with a gunshot wound at the scene.

A second man with a gunshot wound arrived in a private vehicle at Ochsner Medical Complex-River Parishes emergency room in LaPlace.

Both shooting victims were eventually taken to a New Orleans-area hospital for treatment.