Defendant in Lafayette case dies of self-inflicted wounds

Lawyer shoots himself during trial

The Lafayette-area lawyer who shot himself Wednesday, just hours before his trial on illegal synthetic marijuana sales began its third day, has died.

Barry Domingue died at 8:03 p.m. Wednesday at Lafayette General Medical Center, said Keith Talamo, an investigator with the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office, on Thursday.

Domingue was one of two lawyers on trial in U.S. District Court for their alleged roles in synthetic marijuana sales at six Acadiana Curious Goods stores.

Domingue and Daniel Stanford, a Lafayette lawyer, were scheduled to appear Wednesday in U.S. District Court for a second day of testimony.

But sometime Wednesday morning, Domingue shot himself in the head with a 9 mm pistol, attorney William Goode said. Goode said he was able to say goodbye to his friend at the hospital Wednesday morning as Domingue lay unconscious and hooked to life-support machines.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote declared a mistrial Wednesday at Stanford’s request.

Domingue and Stanford were the remaining defendants on trial in a case that originally had 10 defendants, including the Curious Goods business itself. By the time the trial started with jury selection Monday, all but Domingue and Stanford had pleaded guilty to charges linked to illegal sales of synthetic marijuana.

Domingue, whose exact age was unclear Thursday, was in his 50s, according to media reports.

“This is a very sad end to a very sad matter,” Foote said Wednesday after she declared a mistrial.

Foote did not speculate on a trial date for the case’s lone defendant, Stanford.