Jose Robles Marques guilty of murdering his sister’s boyfriend in Gretna

A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday (June 22) found Jose Robles Marques guilty of shooting his sister’s boyfriend to death in his Gretna home last year.

Marques, 43, was convicted as charged of the second-degree murder of Jose Salomon Fernandez Barrientos, 42, in a bedroom of his home in 1700 block of Newton Street on March 1, 2022.

Fernandez and Marques’ sister were arguing in their bedroom when Marques approached the doorway with a six-shot .38-caliber revolver and opened fire. Fernandez was sitting on a bed when he was struck by at least five of the bullets. He died on the bed.

At trial, Marques’ defense lawyers argued he was defending his sister, whom he asserted was the victim of a domestic violence act in the past. The lawyers asserted that Marques heard arguing, thought his sister was in danger and shot Fernandez. As such, it was a justifiable homicide, they said.

However, there was no evidence indicating that Marques reasonably believed his sister was in imminent danger, a necessary element of justifiable homicide.

In his statement to Gretna police after the incident, Marques indicated that when he entered the Fernandez’s bedroom, which he shared with Marques’ sister, Marques had already retrieved the firearm and loaded it.  Additionally, Marques stated that he observed the victim and his sister separate prior to his firing the weapon until he ran out of bullets. As such, his shooting Fernandez was neither reasonable nor necessary.

“Being angry, being upset, that’s not justifiable homicide,” Assistant District Attorney Eric Cusimano told jurors Thursday in closing argument.

Jurors deliberated about one hour, 15 minutes before returning with their unanimous verdict at 5 p.m., Thursday. Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Marques on Wednesday (June 28). Life in prison without parole, probation or suspension of sentence is the mandatory punishment for second-degree murder under Louisiana law.

Assistant District Attorneys Eric Cusimano and Taylor Somerville prosecuted the case.