Man found guilty of 8 counts of attempted murder of a police officer

Man found guilty of 8 counts of attempted murder of a police officer
El Jerico Jermiah Bartie. (Source: Lake Charles Police)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A man involved in a standoff at a Sulphur hotel in July 2014 has been found guilty of attempting to kill police officers.

Judge Ron Ware found El Jerico Bartie, 29, guilty as charged on eight counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.

Bartie took the witness stand in his own defense, but clearly, Judge Ware did not believe his testimony.

Under cross-examination by the State, Bartie eventually admitted he did commit the drive-by shooting on Cline Street in Lake Charles.  That was the crime for which officers were attempting to serve a warrant.  Their search brought officers to the Super 8 Hotel
 
But, while testifying, Bartie refused to admit he knew he was shooting at police officers, when he fired at least 18 rounds in the standoff at the hotel.

Prosecutor Cliff Strider says Bartie was not truthful about much.
 
"He was truthful when he said his name, other than that he wasn't very truthful," said Strider.

Strider and co-prosecutor Brittany Chavis say it was excellent Lake Charles police work that caused the standoff to end without anyone getting shot..
 
"We need to be very grateful to our police officers here in Calcasieu Parish-- well trained, value human life, and they made sure with everything that they had, that no one got harmed," said Strider.

"I think justice was rendered for our police officers.  There were eight counts of attempted first degree murder and we are very fortunate that the judge rendered guilty on all eight counts.   The officers were trained and skilled when the arrived at the super eight to apprehend the defendant and yet they used all of their training and experience to not engage in fire at any point," said Chavis.

Some of not many cases in which suspects shoot at police result in the suspect being shot dead.  

"We had a number of police officers shot at that chose not to return fire that resolved in the standoff peacefully.  In today's society that's not always how it works," said Strider.

"El Jerico Bartie engaged in fire through the door for a duration of 28 minutes until he no longer did fire, and that's when he surrendered," said Chavis.

Attempted first-degree murder of a police officer is punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison.  Bartie is to be sentenced on April 30.

During the trial, video surveillance was shown of the officers in a stairwell being forced back when shots were fired. Dash cam video documenting the gunfire was also shown.

The standoff in Sulphur took place following a shooting in Lake Charles, according to information from the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office. Bartie allegedly several shots from his vehicle on Cline Street, hitting one person before fleeing.

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