Grand jury charges wife of sheriff’s deputy in his killing
GRETNA, La. (AP) — A grand jury has charged the wife of a sheriff’s deputy in southeastern Louisiana in his killing but the woman contends her husband shot himself in the head.
Local media report a Jefferson Parish grand jury charged Shantel Parria with second-degree murder Thursday in the shooting death of her husband, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office sergeant. Parria pleaded not guilty during a court hearing Friday.
Troy Smith suffered a single gunshot to the head in June in the couple’s Waggaman home.
The 35-year-old Parria called 911 on June 17 and told operators that her husband shot himself in their house. Smith was rushed to the hospital where he died June 24.
Authorities have accused Parria of staging it to look like a suicide. Parria says her husband killed himself.
Her lawyers earlier this week argued that investigators based their conclusion Smith was a homicide victim on incorrect information about the location of a bullet exit wound from his head. They are asking that a preliminary hearing into the case be reopened, citing updates the coroner’s office made to their initial autopsy report.
Her lawyers have also argued that Smith threatened to kill himself the day before the shooting, was suffering from PTSD and had financial troubles. They said surgeons at the hospital found the shooting consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot and detected alcohol as well as amphetamines and opiates in Smith’s system.
Parria’s next court date is Dec. 13.