Christmas Eve shooter gets suspended sentence

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Juanice Gray | Editor

On Christmas Eve 2020, around 8:33 p.m., Joshua Andrew Jones, 19, allegedly shot Chris Cobbs twice at point blank range. Jones was arrested after the incident and spent the next 10 months in jail. Originally charged with attempted second-degree murder, Jones pleaded guilty Sept. 2 to the amended charge of aggravated second-degree battery, a felony charge that carries a fine of not more $10,000 or imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than 15 years, or both.

This article published in the Oct. 14, 2021, print edition
LPA/Unclaimed Property 2021

In his sentencing hearing Oct. 8, the court’s parting words to Jones were, “Never forget that you almost killed a man, a man whose little boy likely now associates gunfire with Santa Claus.”

The pre-sentencing investigative report and preliminary examination hearing on March 22 show that Natchitoches Police officers arrived at Fairgrounds Road after reports of a shooting. They found Cobbs with two gunshot wounds being tended by his estranged wife. Jones was sitting with Ms. Cobbs in her car outside her home on Fairgrounds Road. She was awaiting the return of her juvenile son by her husband from whom she was separated. Mr. Cobbs arrived and escorted his son into the house and Ms. Cobbs exited the car and followed him leaving Jones in the car. The Cobbs became embroiled in an argument about money inside the house. He soon left the house and walked toward Jones still sitting in the car. Jones then exited the car, shot Cobbs twice and fled. According to court records, at sentencing, Cobbs provided a victim impact statement.

Court records state, “In determining the sentence the court has reviewed and considered the sentencing guidelines and the sentencing factors. Those guidelines mandate that when a defendant has been convicted of a felony the court should impose a sentence of imprisonment. This court, as all criminal courts, must steadfastly balance compassion, justice and public safety in its criminal sentencing. This court has taken notice of and has weighed in its decision today the defendant’s social history, his lack of any juvenile record or prior criminal convictions… The court has also considered the victim impact statement made by Mr. Cobbs.”

The court addressed Jones stating, “The facts surrounding your crime carry all the benchmarks of America’s greatest current criminal problem, the proliferation of guns among young people with low thresholds of self control and lack of maturity about firearms.” Facts noted in court documents cite Jones’ youth and no prior criminal history as well as conflicting statements given by the victim, against those given by two eye witnesses that shed doubt as to who was the aggressor that night.

Natchitoches Times coverage of the incident.

Judge Lala B. Sylvester sentenced Jones to 10 years with the La. Dept. of Corrections. That sentence was suspended and Jones was placed on five years supervised probation and ordered to pay $1,888.50 in fines and costs.

A probation review and restitution hearing regarding the Life Air flight fee is slated for Nov. 29.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Methvin represented the State and Howard Conday was legal counsel for Jones.