SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The man charged in the 2019 death of a popular local coach over a parking spot on Tuesday filed a motion to forego a jury trial, which was set for May, and be tried before a Caddo Parish judge.
It happened in the 1200 block of East Washington Street in Shreveport’s Anderson Island neighborhood, where police say Ronald Parker shot Roderick Gaut following a brief verbal exchange over a parking space in front of his house, as Gaut’s horrified family watched. The family was going to a repast following the funeral of a family next door. Although Gaut was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health, he later died.
Since then, Parker’s case has been slowly winding through the court system, with a presiding judge change after former Caddo District Judge Charles Tutt did not run for reelection in November 2020 and was replaced by now Caddo District Judge Chris Victory.
Four trial dates were set – two in November 2020, one in January, which was reset to May 17. But it was only in March that the Louisiana Supreme Court COVID-19 announced the year-long moratorium on jury trials would be lifted on April 1.
In January, Parker’s trial was reset for the May date. And in late March and early April, more than 25 subpoenas for witnesses were served by the prosecution.
If Victory grants Parker’s motion, those witnesses will still be called to testify, but since Parker waived his right to be tried by a jury, they will be testifying before Victory rather than a jury.