A Jefferson Parish jury Wednesday night (March 8) found Tonny J. Bauer guilty of carjacking for forcibly removing a 58-year-old woman from her vehicle moments after she purchased pizzas.
It was about 8 p.m., on May 8, 2020, when Bauer, 37, entered the victim’s 2021 Nissan Rogue through the passenger-side door outside a pizza business in the 5000 block of West Esplanade Avenue.
The victim walked out of the business with her pizzas and noticed Bauer crouching down nearby, she told the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. She entered her Rogue and placed the pizzas on the passenger’s seat. That’s when Bauer entered the vehicle.
He choked the victim as she tried to flee. After she escaped, Bauer drove away. About a half-hour later, Causeway police responded to a one-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes of the Causeway bridge. Police determined it was the stolen vehicle, and after he appeared to attempt to climb the bridge’s railing, Bauer was arrested.
Police also found the victim’s pizza in the car. It was still hot and partially eaten.
Bauer alleged self-defense, saying he was at his home near the pizza business when he thought someone was breaking into the house. Leaving his shoes and eyeglasses behind, Bauer asserted that he ran to the pizza business and got into the victim’s car in thinking she could help him.
Jurors deliberated less than 1 ½ hours before returning with their unanimous verdict. Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Bauer on March 22.
Assistant District Attorneys Carolyn Chkautovich and Alyssa Aleman prosecuted the case.