[StBernard] Justice Unserved

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Oct 30 22:17:54 EDT 2008

Man will spend life in mental institution for Meraux bus stop shooting
by The Times-Picayune
Thursday October 30, 2008, 5:15 PM
A St. Bernard Parish judge found a man accused of killing a Meraux father
during a shotgun-shooting spree at a school bus stop in 2003 not guilty by
reason of insanity.

However, in his ruling Wednesday in state district court in Chalmette, Judge
Manuel Ferndez also declared that Louis Schenck would continue to be a
danger to himself and others and ordered Schenck incarcerated in the East
Feliciana Forensic Facility for the remainder of his life, courts
transcripts show.

Schenck, 51, was to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder and three
counts of attempted first-degree murder stemming from the shooting in the
Lexington Place subdivision in August 2003.

Danny Foto, 39, was killed by a shotgun blast. Foto's then 2-year-old son,
who he was holding at the time, was critically wounded, as was another man,
Steven Miller, whose foot had to be amputated after his ankle was shattered
in the shooting.

At least twice, in November 2003 and June 2004, Schenck had been found unfit
for trial at sanity hearings.

Schenck's attorney, Michael Fawer, said after the St. Bernard Parish
District Attorney's office agreed not to seek the death penalty, Schenck
waived a jury trial. Schenck also waived his right to seek release from
incarceration in the mental hospital.

The District Attorney's office offered the police report from the shooting
and the autopsy report as evidence. Fawer offered the results from the
Sanity Commission.

"Every doctor who's seen him said he was nuts at the time of the crime,"
Fawer said.

The victims' families had been consulted and agreed to the ruling.

The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office said Schenck fired three blasts with a
12-gauge shotgun at the bus stop the morning of Aug. 19, 2003 after an
argument with his parents, who lived next door to Foto. Someone at the bus
stop had also yelled at him to slow down as he sped to his parents home,
investigators said.

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