Marrero man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his boss

A Marrero man who murdered his boss at their Kenner workplace was sentenced on Monday (July 24) to a mandatory life sentence in prison.

John Spears, 52, was convicted last month of the second-degree murder of Anthony Tardo on Dec. 4, 2015.

Tardo, 49, was described as a “generous, most caring person” with a “contagious laugh,” his family said in an impact testimony letter that was read aloud in court during the sentencing hearing. Through his “cowardly” act, Spears robbed Tardo’s wife, their three children and his extended family of a life with him, his family said.

Tardo, of Mandeville, was the supervisor at Houston Marine Training Services in the 2500 block of Williams Boulevard, where Spears was employed as an instructor. He was seated at his desk in his office when Spears appeared in the doorway.

Other employees said they heard Tardo say loudly, “What the f—,” before hearing one gunshot. Tardo was struck in the chest and died within a minute, according to trial testimony.

Spears then calmly told co-workers to call 911. He walked outside to the parking lot, where he unloaded his .40-caliber pistol and remained until Kenner Police Department officers arrived. He later pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, asserting that mental illness and a related blackout prevented him from distinguishing right from wrong.

A Jefferson Parish jury on June 15 deliberated less than 1 ½ hours in rejecting Spears’ insanity defense, finding him guilty as charged.

Judge June Berry Darensburg of the 24th Judicial District Court handed down the mandatory life sentence.

Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Vanderhooft and Rhonda Goode-Douglas prosecuted the case.

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