Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours Wednesday before finding Michael Adam Domingue, 30, guilty of negligent homicide in the March 22 shooting death of Donald Trahan Jr., 32.
Domingue had been facing a manslaughter charge for shooting Trahan after an altercation at Domingue’s Moss Bluff home between Trahan and Trahan’s girlfriend, Jennifer Carlile, both of whom were living in Domingue’s home. Trahan died later in a local hospital.
Dr. Terry Welke, Calcasieu Parish coroner, took the stand Wednesday, the second day of Domingue’s trial, and detailed Trahan’s wound. He said that a .40-caliber bullet entered Trahan’s abdomen and traveled to his right lower back. He said there was no exit wound and that the gun barrel and Trahan were less than 2 feet from each another.
Welke said a toxicology report showed that Trahan had a high level of methamphetamine in his system. He said that if he had the same level, he would either be “super hyper” or dead. But he emphasized that Trahan had died of the gunshot wound.
Defense attorney Andrew Casanave asked Welke if the trajectory of the bullet could have been due to Trahan lunging toward Domingue. “It would be consistent with that,” he responded.
Prosecutor Hope Buford, in her closing statement, spoke of Domingue deleting surveillance video of the shooting.
Detective Patrick Smith, a digital forensics specialist with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff ’s Office, had said video from the time period of the shooting was missing from the DVR’s hard drive and that nothing pertinent showed up on any of the other hard drives found at the scene.
He said that a log file showed the system had been in operation and that a recording had been played back for about four minutes during the time period in question. Smith said the DVR hard drive had been erased before 10:32 on the night of the shooting.
Buford reminded jurors that the first 911 call about the shooting was made at 10:22 p.m. and that at 10:32 p.m., the cameras were back in operation and Domingue was recorded “manipulating the system.”
Buford said that despite testimony about Carlile and Trahan’s relationship, the case was about what transpired between Domingue and Trahan. She said Domingue had a choice and that he had specific intent when he pointed a gun at an unarmed Trahan.
Casanave said Domingue “might not have been thinking at all, just reacting” when he shot Trahan. “A drugged up, violent man lunged at him,” said Casanave. “And he pulled the trigger.”
Judge Clayton Davis will sentence Domingue on Feb. 15. He faces up to five years in prison.