LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles man has been found guilty of murder in the 2017 shooting death of Gary Obrien. Devin Jahmal Holefield, 26, is guilty of second-degree murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
The complicated case started with four indicted for murder-- but ultimately only one stood trial: Holefield. After 1 ½ hours the jury returned with a unanimous vote. As the state laid out the case, everyone involved seemed to have a gun.
“They had multiple weapons. Probably more than one for each of them. But the thing is, before Holefield was arrested, he couldn’t keep quiet and that is ultimately how we proved this case that he was the trigger man,” Calcasieu Assistant D.A. Charles Robinson, said.
He says one of the most persuasive pieces of evidence was the testimony of a woman close to Holefield.
“Probably the most important witness in this whole trial was a witness who was close to this guy and really did not want to testify and I don’t blame her. But she did the right thing. She did testify that she was heart-broken but he told her he’s the one who shot Gary Obrien and every bit of evidence we had, testimony, physical evidence, everything corroborated her statement,” Robinson said.
The three co-defendants pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery, testified against Holefield in the trial and expect leniency when sentenced. But Robinson doubts it will be a slap on the wrist. The co-defendants are Jermyre Bowers, Justin Ned and Devonta Orphey.
"They could be sentenced anywhere from five years to 49 years in prison and they did offer the state something worthwhile, assisting in justice for those who mourn the loss of Gary Obrien,” he said.
The defense argued Holefield’s friends turned on him when he cooperated with police and named names, that one of the three co-defendants likely killed Obrien and that the three had a huge stake in supporting the state’s case.
Defense attorney Catherine Stagg declined to be interviewed.
Second-degree murder brings automatic life in prison. Holefield will be formally sentenced on May 15, 2019.
Obrien was killed on July 17, 2017.
For more on closing arguments, check out the Tweets below.