FIRST IN PRINT: Texas man pleads guilty to attempted murder of trooper

Deidre Cruse

A Texas man on trial here last week for the attempted first degree murder of a Louisiana State trooper changed his plea to guilty after an appeals court ruling went against him, District Attorney Richard J. “Ricky” Ward Jr. reported.

Robert Armendarez, 21, of El Paso faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years at hard labor and a maximum of up to 50 years at hard labor, Ward said. He said he would recommend the maximum sentence.

District Judge Alvin Batiste Jr. set sentencing for July 6.

A jury had been selected and the trial was underway in 18th Judicial District Court when word of the adverse ruling from the First Circuit Court of Appeal came in, the district attorney said.

Armendarez is accused of the attempted murder of State Trooper David Conway during a traffic stop in Iberville Parish last July.

He was represented by Jerry D'Aquila and Tom Nelson of the Indigent Defender's Office. Ward, and assistant district attorneys Dana Larpenteur and Michael Maronge represented the state.