Gailes convicted in Mardi Gras parade slaying

A jury late Friday convicted Akeem O. Gailes of Plaquemine on one count of manslaughter and one count of felon in possession of a firearm, District Attorney Ricky Ward said.

Ward said prosecutors will press for a maximum sentence for Gailes, 27.

He faces up to 40 years in prison on the manslaughter count and 20 years on the felon in possession of a firearm count, Ward said.

Gailes, 23670 Bourgoyne St., briefly escaped from custody in the Iberville Parish Courthouse on Thursday after he jimmied the lock on the door of a holding cell during the trial’s luncheon recess.

Gailes was being tried in the fatal shooting of Dewayne Milton Smith, 27, of White Castle, on Feb. 19, 2012, during a Mardi Gras parade in Plaquemine. Investigators accused Gailes of shooting Smith when the two got into an altercation at the Plaquemine Community Parade.

Ward is the district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, which includes the parishes of Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee. The lead prosecutor in the trial was Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton.