• 79°

Man shoots self in leg, sentenced to prison for 13 years

CONVENT — An area man, who authorities said shot himself in the leg, was sentenced to more than 10 years in jail for possessing the weapon illegally.

John Walters, 33, of Gramercy pleaded guilty Tuesday (Nov. 27) to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Following a plea agreement with prosecutors, Judge Tess Stromberg sentenced Walters to 13 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The sentence is to be served without the benefit of parole.

St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded April 4, 2017, to a Lutcher residence after a report of a male being shot. Deputies made contact with the individual suffering from the gunshot wound, identified as Walters.

Public Information Officer Tyler Cavalier of D.A. Ricky L. Babin’s office said Walters was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

“Detectives made contact with Walters at the hospital, who made a voluntary statement indicating that he was with a friend while in possession of a .22 caliber revolver,” a release from Cavalier said.

“Walters advised that as he was exiting the vehicle, the gun fell to the ground and a single round discharged from the gun, striking Walters in the leg.”

According to authorities, detectives located the firearm at the scene and a review of Walter’s criminal history showed he had prior felony convictions for simple burglary, cruelty to a juvenile and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

Walters was subsequently arrested and taken to the St. James Parish Detention Center, where he was booked accordingly.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Koenig prosecuted Walters. Cavalier said the guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors coming just after the completion of jury selection for Walters’ scheduled trial.