A Houma man facing murder charges in connection with a deadly drive-by shooting in 2019 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Bobby Cooper, 20, was originally charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 33-year-old Kirk Robinson.
As he was preparing to stand trial last week, Cooper opted to plead guilty to the lesser charge, prosecutors said.
State District Judge Juan Pickett then sentenced him to 10 years in prison. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 40 years.
“It all happened pretty quick,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Erny, who prosecuted the case. “We agreed on the manslaughter charge and he was sentenced accordingly.”
Murder charges are still pending for 23-year-old Ty’rell McKinley, who is accused of firing the gunshots that claimed Robinson’s life as he sat in his car around 4 a.m. on Bryant Street on Aug. 25, 2019.
Authorities said the victim was sitting his vehicle talking with others when occupants of a black 2007 Ford Fusion approached. The occupants began firing at Robinson, striking him several times and narrowly missing three bystanders.
Further investigation indicated that McKinley and Cooper were the occupants of the vehicle, police said. A motive in the shooting was not released.
The suspect vehicle was later found in Houma’s Senator Circle public housing complex, where police took McKinley and Cooper into custody after finding them in an apartment.
A search of the apartment revealed a semi-automatic pistol, which was recovered for evidence. The suspects’ car was reported stolen from a Houma apartment complex, authorities said.
Erny declined to discuss details of the guilty plea because charges are still pending for McKinley.
Cooper’s attorney, John Thomas of Metairie, declined to comment about the outcome.
McKinley’s trial is scheduled for July 25. If convicted of murder, he faces a mandatory life sentence without early release.
— Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Houma man pleads guilty to manslaughter in drive-by shooting