ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Prairieville man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty of second degree murder Wednesday.
On Wednesday, April 12, Kevin Sheppard, 25, was found guilty by an Ascension Parish jury in connection with the 2014 shooting death of Lewis Ray Sanchez, 22, also of Prairieville.
Back on December 24, 2014, deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Bishop Woods area near Gonzales in reference to a shooting. A male victim was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, where he later recovered.
Sanchez, however, was found a short distance away suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead on the scene.Through an extensive investigation, it was found that Sheppard shot both victims while riding in a vehicle after getting into a verbal argument about money that was owed. Sheppard fled the area with the driver of the vehicle after the two victims got out.
The vehicle was later found across the Mississippi River levee in St. Gabriel, where it was burned. Sheppard turned himself in to authorities after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Jury selection began on April 11, 2017 and after a day and a half of testimony, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the charge of second degree murder. During the trial, Sheppard testified and admitted to lying to investigators during the investigation in the hopes of being eliminated as a suspect. Sheppard said he was in the vehicle prior to the murder and after the murder, but was not in the vehicle at the time of the shots being fired. Sheppard also testified that he did burn the vehicle involved along the banks of the Mississippi River, but maintained his innocence as it relates to the shooting.
Sheppard will be formally sentenced on May 22, however, the conviction on the second degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence.