A 66-year-old Kenner man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday (May 23), after he pleaded guilty to committing a battery on his wife during a domestic dispute and then firing a shotgun at her as she ran from their home.
On the day he was scheduled to stand trial, Charles Gussett pleaded guilty as charged to illegal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a crime of violence and domestic abuse battery, a misdemeanor. He received 10 years for each of the felonies and six months for the misdemeanor, all run concurrently.
Once he’s released from prison, he’ll be barred from being near his wife, 24th Judicial District Judge June Darensburg said in issuing the permanent stay-away order. “It’s permanent, for the rest of your life, her life,” Darensburg told Gussett.
The crimes happened on Oct. 25, 2013, in the couple’s home in the 2100 block of Iowa Avenue, according to the Kenner Police Department. His wife of two years, a community college student who also held down a job, was doing her homework on her laptop computer after she got off work when Gussett asked her about what they’d have for dinner.
An argument followed when she told Gussett she had no dinner plans. He closed her laptop computer, preventing her from continuing her work, and then grabbed her by her neck – committing the domestic abuse battery.
As she ran out of the home, Gussett grabbed a 12-gauge single-barrel shotgun and attempted to fire it at her. The gun did not discharge. That act is the basis for the use of a firearm during a crime of violence charge, with underlying offense being an aggravated assault.
After the gun didn’t fire, she ran. He then discharged the shotgun, committing the illegal use of a firearm. His wife was not injured, but the pellets struck a nearby vehicle and the door of a neighboring house.
He fled but was arrested two days later, after returning to the residence, police said. He has been jailed since then.
Assistant District Attorneys Kellie Rish and Molly Massey prosecuted the case.