- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - A Terrebonne Parish jury has found a 23-year-old Thibodaux man guilty of second-degree murder for shooting his ex-girlfriend during a March 28, 2014, hostage standoff in Houma.

The Courier reports (https://bit.ly/1NzRscE) Skylleur Hayes faces life in prison for killing 22-year-old Barbara Baker in her apartment. Hayes was also found guilty of possession of firearm by convicted felon. He was on probation for a simple burglary conviction at the time of the shooting.

The jury deliberated about 45 minutes Thursday before reaching its verdict in the three-day trial that included a little more than a day’s worth of testimony before state District Judge Randall Bethancourt. Hayes, who was supposed to testify, ultimately decided against doing so.

As the clerk read out the verdict, an expressionless Hayes stared ahead and took one long, hard look at the jurors before he was led away in handcuffs. His parents, who were present for most of the trial, were absent from the courtroom.

Once court was adjourned, tears of relief were shed outside in the hallway where the victim’s loved ones had gathered. Barbara Baker’s mother Lisa tearfully hugged her brother as her grandson Ra’mon, a living reminder of her daughter’s stormy relationship with Hayes, watched from a relative’s arms.

Barbara Baker’s uncle said the trial went as expected for the family, but the domestic situation with Ra’mon remains complex. The 2-year-old child of Hayes and Baker is being cared for by his mother’s family, but his paternal grandfather, Steven Hayes Sr., has expressed interest in reconciliation.

Hayes will be sentenced once post-trial motions are heard on Sept. 23.


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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