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Sunset shooting suspect has a lengthy history of violent crime

KATC Investigates has uncovered that Walter Savoie, who was arrested yesterday in connection with the shooting death of Kendrick Lawrence, has a lengthy history of violent crime in St. Landry Parish.

Savoie, 36, of Sunset, has been in and out of the St. Landry Parish Jail since 1999, when he was just 18 years old.

According to court records, Savoie was charged with First Degree Robbery in 1999. Later that year, he was charged with one count of Attempted Second Degree Murder and three counts of Aggravated Assault.

Savoie’s attempted murder charges appear to have been dropped when he pled to First Degree Robbery and Aggravated Battery. He was sentenced to five years hard labor for each of those charges while the sentences ran concurrent with credit for time served. The court also recommended that he be placed in an Intensive Incarceration Program.

While serving that sentence in 2003, Savoie was charged with one count of Taking Contraband to/from a Penal Institution and one count of Possession of Marijuana.

In 2004, Savoie was charged with one count of Accessory After the Fact of Second Degree Murder.

In 2010, he was charged with one count of Aggravated Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, one count of Attempted Second Degree Battery and one count of Threatening a Public Official. While the last charge was eventually dismissed, he was sentenced in 2012 to five years hard labor with credit for time served for each count of battery, which was ordered to run concurrently.

Later that year, he was arrested again and charged with Armed Robbery, which was later dismissed due to the victim being deceased, according to court documents.

In 2011, Savoie was charged with one count of Taking Contraband to/from a Penal Institution.

In 2012, he was charged with one count of Second Degree Battery and one count of Attempted Sexual Battery.

In 2015, he was arrested by the Baton Rouge Police Department for one count of Felony Illegal Carrying of Weapons, one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, one count of Resisting and Officer, one count of Carrying an Illegal Weapon and Using It for a Violent Crime, one count of Possession of Marijuana and one count of Obstruction of Justice.

And in 2016, Savoie was arrested several times.

In March of 2016, he was charged with one count of Possession of Marijuana, one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, one count of Obstruction of Justice, one count of Flight From an Officer, one count of Operating a Vehicle without a License, and one count of Reckless Operation of a Vehicle.

In November 2016, Savoie was charged with one count of Illegal Carrying of Weapons and one count of Disturbing the Peace.

In December 2016, he was charged with one count of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

Those charges in 2016 were added to the same docket in October 2017 and Savoie was sentenced to serve six months in parish jail for Illegally Carrying a Firearm; six months in parish jail for Disturbing the Peace; 15 days in parish jail for Possession of Marijuana; six months for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm; and for the Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine he was sentenced to three years at hard labor with two years without the benefit of parole with one year suspended and one year of active supervised probation.

Court records indicate that bond was set for $6,250, which Savoie was able to post on Sept. 12, 2018. His next hearing for those charges is schedule for April 29.

“That’s the way the system goes,” said Sunset Police Chief Luis Padilla. “I mean, you can’t fight the system or city hall. You just do the best you can and just take it from there. Some make mistakes and some work on them and others don’t learn at all. There’s nothing we can do, but do our job and let the judicial system do their jobs.”

Savoie was currently out on bond when Monday’s shooting happened. Witnesses say Savoie was arguing with the victim, Kendrick Lawrence. Savoie then got into his truck, but fired a shot while driving off.

Padilla said the two men were friends, but let their feud get out of control. Before Savoie was cuffed, he said he hit Lawrence with a gun.

“He has not learned,” said Padilla. “He will never learn and hopefully the court system will go from there.”

On Wednesday, Savoie will go before a judge for his 72-hour hearing.

Chief Padilla said an autopsy will be conducted on Kendrick Lawrence in the morning.

Chris Welty

Chris Welty

Chris Welty is a multimedia journalist at KATC.
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