Teen victim paralyzed in shooting
A judge ruled Monday that enough evidence exists for armed robbery, attempted murder and other charges against a 17-year-old boy accused of shooting and paralyzing East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman Chandler Loupe’s 15-year-old son in February.
State District Judge Lou Daniel, however, said the evidence presented to him Monday did not support an attempted murder charge against a 20-year-old man in the case. That does not mean the evidence does not exist, the judge stressed.
Prosecutors have charged Tyler Coleman, 17, and Terrance Thornton, 20, both of Baton Rouge, with one count each of attempted second-degree murder and three counts each of armed robbery.
“As of this point, the state has no intention of dismissing any charges,” prosecutor David deBlieux said after court.
Daniel found probable cause against Coleman in the armed robbery and attempted second-degree murder of Thomas Loupe, and in the attempted armed robbery of two other teenagers with Loupe on Feb. 13 in the Mayfair subdivision.
Baton Rouge police detective Lee Stromberg, the lead investigator on the case, testified Monday that Loupe told police a shirtless, black male wearing a gold medallion on a long gold chain shot him in the back seat of a car. Coleman was wearing jewelry matching that description when he was picked up by police, Stromberg said.
Daniel also found probable cause against Thornton in the armed robbery of Loupe and in the attempted armed robbery of the two other teens, but no probable cause against him in the attempted second-degree murder of Loupe.
Bail for Coleman and Thornton is set at $400,000 and $225,000, respectively. At the request of their attorneys, Daniel set a bail reduction hearing for Nov. 29. Bruce Craft represents Coleman. Dele Adebamiji represents Thornton.
Coleman was 16 at the time of the alleged drug deal-turned-robbery.
Loupe was shot in the chest Feb. 3 after he and two teen acquaintances — one 15 and one 17 — attempted to buy marijuana in the 1600 block of Mary Lou Drive, police have said. Court documents allege Coleman and Thornton planned to rob the trio. The 17-year-old was driving the car in which Loupe and the other 15-year-old were passengers.
The 15-year-old, who was not injured in the incident, was booked on a count of attempted possession of marijuana.
The three teens initially told police they were cutting through the Mayfair area when Loupe was struck by a stray bullet, Stromberg and fellow detective Ross Williams testified. Later, they acknowledged driving to the area to buy marijuana, the detectives said.
Stromberg testified that a phone number the 15-year-old called prior to the shooting belonged to Thornton’s cousin’s phone. The cousin told police Thornton had borrowed the phone from him and that Thornton had a habit of “jacking” kids in the Mayfair area, Stromberg said.
Thornton’s cousin also told police that Coleman always had a .380-caliber handgun on him, the detective said. Shell casings found at the scene of the shooting were from a .380-caliber, Stromberg and Williams testified.