Harahan man acquitted in post-Katrina killing

GRETNA, LA (AP) - A Harahan man has been acquitted in the only homicide reported in Jefferson Parish during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Jefferson Parish jury deliberated about three hours Friday night before finding that Patrick Barker, 42, acted in self-defense when he shot Dennis Devooght, Jr., 34, four times on September 8, 2005.

Barker said he shot Devooght because, when told to put a handgun slowly on his truck, the other man got a mean look on his face and reached quickly toward the weapon.

Two jurors voted to convict Barker of second-degree murder, which would have carried a mandatory life sentence.

He has spent more than two years jailed, unable to make $500,000 bail.

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