A Kenner man who was convicted last week of four felonies, including shooting at his lifelong friend on a city street, was sentenced on Monday (May 2) to 22 years in prison.
Otis D. Washington, 26, also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine in connection with his April 26 convictions of aggravated criminal damage to property, aggravated assault and two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
After a lifelong friend questioned him about a pistol he possessed, Washington began shooting at the victim as he left a store in the 1000 block of 3rd Street in Kenner on April 28, 2015, according to trial testimony. As the victim drove away, bullets shattered a back door window, punched through a door and struck the back of the front passenger’s seat where a pregnant woman sat.
The following day, the victim saw Washington at Jefferson Highway and Wilker Neal Avenue in River Ridge. Washington pointed the same pistol at the man, leading to the aggravated assault charge. Washington was barred from possessing firearms because of a 2010 simple robbery conviction, and yet did so on back-to-back days, leading to the two gun possession charges.
The victim contacted the Kenner Police Department only after Washington pointed the gun at him. Following the shooting, he said he hoped his mother and Washington’s mother would resolve the matter, he testified.
After denying a defense request for a new trial, Judge Michael Mentz of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Washington to 20 years for each of the two firearm counts, 10 years for the aggravated assault and 15 years for the criminal damage counts. He ran the sentences concurrently, for a total of 20 years.
At the time of his arrest in the case, Washington was serving two years of probation because of his conviction of unauthorized use of property valued at more than $500. He pleaded guilty to that charge less than three months before his arrest in the shooting case.
Kenner police arrested him for the earlier offense in October 2013, after observing him drive through a private parking lot on Williams Boulevard to avoid a traffic signal, while watching a pornographic movie on a DVD player, according to the arrest report.
Police learned that the DVD player and other items in Washington’s car had been stolen in a residential burglary in Kenner earlier that day. Mentz, who presided over that case, too, suspended a two-year prison sentence and gave Washington two years of probation.
But with last week’s conviction, Judge Mentz on Monday revoked the probation and ordered Washington to serve the original two-year prison sentence. That sentence was run consecutively with the new 20-year sentence, for a total of 22 years.
Prosecutors on Monday also filed a multiple bill under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, charging Washington as a third felony offender. Apart from two misdemeanor convictions, Washington’s background includes felony convictions of simple robbery, simple burglary and unauthorized use of movable property.
Sentencing range for the bill is 10 years to 30 years in prison. Judge Mentz is scheduled to consider the bill on May 19.
Assistant District Attorneys Angel Varnado and Douglas Rushton prosecuted the case.