DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The man who was shot by an off-duty detective with Louisiana State Police during a suspected car break-in was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to several charges related to a crime spree.
The 23rd Judicial District Court reported Joseph Baldwin, 31, of Prairieville, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, simple burglary, felony theft, illegal possession of stolen things, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Judge Jessie LeBlanc presided over the case. The terms of the plea agreement with prosecutors gives Baldwin credit for time served, but stated he must serve 20 years of the sentence without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension.
According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, an LSP detective was alerted by a neighbor that his unmarked police unit was being broken into around 4:30 a.m. on April 3, 2016. The detective armed himself and went outside to confront the burglar, who had already broken into the vehicle and allegedly took several valuable items, investigators reported.
Detectives said as Baldwin tried to make a run for it, he pulled out a stolen gun and threatened to shoot the off-duty investigator. The LSP detective responded to the threat by firing a round that hit Baldwin.
Court records indicate Baldwin took an LSP-issued ballistic vest and a backpack from the vehicle. They stated the backpack contained two guns. Those two guns and several other items were found a short time later.
Baldwin had been busted for breaking into police cars prior to this case. He was previously arrested in 2013 after DNA evidence from two law enforcement vehicle burglaries in Walker pointed to him as a suspect in the crimes. In that case, the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office said he stole firearms and other items specific to law enforcement.
Officials said Baldwin had been arrested seven times by five different agencies before this latest case. He had just got out of prison in Livingston Parish and was still on probation when the incident happened.
The following is Baldwin's complete criminal history:
- 2007, 2009 - DWI (LSP)
- 2009 - Simple burglary (EBRSO)
- 2012 - Theft, drugs, drag racing (APSO)
- 2013 - 2 counts of simple burglary of a law enforcement or emergency vehicle (LPSO)
- 2013 - Illegal firearms (APSO)