Posted on July 11, 2014 at 1:11 PM
Jordan Gribble / Houma Courier
A Houma man will spend life in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to killing a former neighbor.
Cody Callais, 38, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Rickie Samanie, 68, of Bayou Blue, prosecutors said.
Samanie was found dead Jan. 21 from a shotgun blast to his chest inside his home along Bayou Blue Road. Authorities said Callais used Samanie's own gun in the killing. Callais had lived more than half his life in Samanie's neighborhood.
Sheriff's deputies who arrived at the house found Samanie's black 2003 Ford F-150 was missing. Callais was found driving the missing truck, prompting a police chase that ended about four hours after Samanie's body was discovered.
The motive has been determined to be robbery, police said.
Callais was initially charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and related charges. He was scheduled to stand trial July 21.
Callais decided to plead guilty to second-degree murder and the firearm possession charge, Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joe Waitz said.
Callais was sentenced to another 10 years in prison for the firearm possession charge.
“Mr. Samanie's untimely death has been very traumatic to his family and friends, and our sympathy goes out to them,” Waitz said. “We are very satisfied with the outcome of this case, and Mr. Samanie's family now has closure.”