GRETNA, La. - A man convicted of fatally shooting a witness and then burning his home to cover up the crime was sentenced to 55 years in prison Monday, according to the Jefferson Parish district attorney's office.
Jacoby Maize was sentenced in court for shooting Justin Hendricks Jr. in his Old Jefferson home on April 25, 2011.
Maize was convicted after prosecutors said he shot Hendricks, after Hendricks called 911 while witnessing Maize pistol-whipping his wife.
Justin Hendricks Sr., the father of the victim, gave an impact statement saying that he had waited five years for the day he could confront his son's killer in court.
Hendricks Sr. said his son bravely called 911 to report what he saw, putting himself in danger.
"Did he think his life was in peril?" Dr. Hendricks was asked. “Yes, but he did it anyway.”
Hendricks was emotional during the testimony, crying from the witness stand as Maize chuckled, according to a spokesman for the district attorney's office.
A Jefferson Parish jury on March 4 convicted Maize as charged of the murder, aggravated arson, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated second-degree battery, witness intimidation and aggravated assault.
The aggravated second-degree battery, aggravated assault and witness intimidation involve Maize’s wife, whom he shot at, beat and threatened if she told anyone that he killed Hendricks, according to trial testimony.
After rejecting Maize’s attorneys’ request for a new trial on Monday, Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court handed down the mandatory life sentence for Hendricks’ death.
Sullivan sentenced Maize to 15 years for the aggravated second-degree battery, 20 years for each of the firearm charges, 40 years for witness intimidation, 20 years for aggravated arson and 10 years for aggravated assault.