A Jefferson Parish judge on Wednesday (July 5) sentenced Shawn Chiasson to spend the rest of his life in prison after the defendant abruptly ended his murder trial and pleaded guilty as charged to killing his estranged girlfriend.
Chiasson, 28, of Marrero, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Lindsey Williams, 29, by shooting her once in the left side of her head in the bedroom of her home in the 1100 block of Gaudet Drive. He then fled, leaving her 11-year-old son behind with his dying mother on the morning of Aug. 14, 2021.
The jury that was seated last week returned to 24th Judicial District Judge Ray Steib’s courtroom on Wednesday to hear testimony. Jurors heard the state’s opening statement. Jurors heard testimony from Williams’ mother and were midway through the direct examination of Chiasson’s ex-girlfriend when he decided to plead guilty.
In addition to second-degree murder, Chiasson pleaded guilty as charged to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and to obstruction of justice. He was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a 2021 conviction of possession of heroin. After he shot Williams, Chiasson fled to Westwego, where he dumped the pistol along a canal bank – leading to the obstruction of justice charge.
Judge Steib sentenced Chiasson to the mandatory life sentence for the murder, 20 years for the firearm charge and 40 for the obstruction of justice. He ran the sentences concurrently.
On the night before her death, Williams gathered with friends at a downtown Gretna restaurant and then on the Mississippi River levee. Chiasson arrived and texted her, “I’m looking dead at you.”
Just before 9 a.m., the following morning, her son was in his bedroom when he heard something across the hall in his mother’s bedroom. He opened the door and saw Chiasson with blood on his hands.
Chiasson then used the child’s cell phone to call 911, telling the operator that his name was “Jake,” and saying someone had been shot. Chiasson fled, and the child waited on the front porch for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to arrive.
Following his arrest two days later, Chiasson told detectives that the pistol accidentally fired as he removed it from his pants’ waistband.
Chiasson’s public defender waived giving an opening statement Wednesday. Chiasson’s ex-girlfriend was the second witness, who was called to testify about a 2017 incident in which he beat her while she was eight months pregnant. She refused to answer a prosecutor’s questions Wednesday and faced a contempt hearing. It was while she was on the witness stand that Chiasson told his public defender that he would plead guilty as charged.
Jurors briefly left the courtroom on Wednesday, unaware that Chiasson was pleading guilty. Judge Steib called the jurors back to his courtroom and told him about the guilty plea. The jurors voluntarily remained in court to hear victim impact testimony and to see Chiasson sentenced.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Tommy Block prosecuted the case.