New Iberia takes hard stance against violent crime repeat offender

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announces that Tristan “Body” Romero was sentenced to 75 years at hard labor without the benefit of parole for Armed Robbery with a Firearm to run concurrently with a 50 year hard labor sentence without parole for Attempted 1st Degree Murder and to run concurrently with a 20 year hard labor sentence for Intimidation of a Witness. Judge Lewis Pitman imposed the sentences after a Multiple Offender hearing at which he found Romero to be a Second Felony Offender under Louisiana’s Habitual Offender statute. Romero was previously convicted of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm under Iberia docket #09-760 on August 27, 2009. As an habitual offender with these two convictions for crimes of violence, his potential sentencing range was a minimum of fifty-two (52) years at hard labor and a maximum of two hundred eight (208) years at hard labor.

A twelve person jury unanimously convicted Romero on March 29, 2017 of Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery with the Use of a Firearm, and Intimidation of a Witness. The verdict was returned after a two day trial prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Robert Vines.

The charges in this case arose out of an incident on May 25, 2015 during which Romero robbed the victim at gunpoint as the victim was seated inside of his vehicle in a car line waiting to pick up food at a local drive thru on Hopkins Street in New Iberia. The defendant walked up, entered the rear passenger seat behind the driver, produced a handgun, and demanded money. The victim tossed out the $7.00 in his possession, and Romero shot him with a .40 Cal. semiautomatic handgun prior to fleeing the scene. Other patrons in vehicles at the business witnessed the incident and the video surveillance system at the business captured video of the crime. Subsequent to the commission of this crime, Romero threatened one of the witnesses.

The 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is firm in its resolve to rid the community of violent criminals, particularly those who are repeat offenders. “The citizens of our communities deserve to live in peace and harmony without the threat of violence and gunplay as a routine in their neighborhoods,” Vines states. “The jury performed its duty and removed a dangerous criminal from the streets of New Iberia. Judge Pitman followed up with a substantial, yet just, sentence based on the pattern of violence exhibited by this defendant in our community.” “The sentence imposed by Judge Pitman was tailored to address the violent and intimidating facets of this particular defendant’s criminal acts and

measured to protect the victims and the community.”

Contributed Report