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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Cut Off man’s murder sentence appealed

Cut Off man’s murder sentence appealed

A man serving time in prison for a murder in Cut Off is appealing his sentence.

Robert Chouest, 33, shot and killed Shawn Galjour, 41, of Larose, in the early morning of May 22, 2013. Galjour had been lying in Chouest's grandfather's driveway near the defendant's home on ABC Lane.

State District Judge John LeBlanc of Thibodaux found Chouest guilty Jan. 29, 2016, and he is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

Chouest was on Tuesday's docket for the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge. His attorney has submitted legal briefs for the judges to review.

No decision was available as of press time Tuesday.

Chouest's attorney, Michael Fiser, could not be reached for comment.

Chouest claims his sentence is excessive, Soignet said, even though life without parole is the only possible sentence for an adult convicted of second-degree murder. Soignet said some attorneys make that claim in case a future change in the law allows the possibility of parole for adults convicted of murder.

Soignet said Chouest is also arguing that the evidence at his trial was insufficient to support the guilty verdict and that LeBlanc should have allowed testimony from his grandfather, Vin Bruce, who said Chouest told him he thought he'd shot an alligator.

"It was blatant hearsay," Soignet said. "The judge was right."

He added that because Chouest also testified that he thought he'd seen an alligator, that part of his defense was included in his trial anyway.

Chouest testified that he'd been up for three days and consumed crystal methamphetamine, five rocks of crack cocaine, about six beers and several pain pills. Toxicology tests showed Galjour's blood-alcohol concentration was .140.

When announcing his verdict, LeBlanc said the accuracy of the gunshot was proof of intent.

Information from the Daily Comet,