Pointe Coupee jury finds man guilty on two counts of murder, other charges

Staff Report

A Pointe Coupee Parish jury found Morris J. Hollins guilty of killing two men and injuring another in a shooting that occurred Sept. 17, 2021, after a three-day jury trial, according to District Attorney Tony Clayton.

The trial began Jan. 23, and the jury reached a unanimous verdict Jan. 25. Hollins, 25, of 8760 Delta Place Rd., New Roads, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of attempted second degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Morris Hollins

The three victims who were shot were members of Hollins’ family. The shooting occurred at the family home. Gerell Hollins was intoxicated and was arguing with family members. Morris Hollins responded by pulling out a gun and shooting Gerell Hollins nine times. He died at the scene.

As Morris Hollins was shooting, Howard Hollins was trying to run away and was shot in the back and killed. Gregory Hollins, the father of Gerell Hollins, was behind his son and was hit by a bullet in his hip. In addition, a bullet struck the home of a neighbor, Michael Porche.

Morris Hollins was arrested Sept. 20, 2021, on the charges and has been in jail since his arrest. He was convicted Dec. 9, 2019, for illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities. As a result of that conviction, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The prosecution was led by DA’s Office Chief of Trials Chad Aguillard, who was assisted by Assistant District Attorneys Ali Merenek, Kristen Canazardo and Nishart Bhushan.

"This was a very tragic case that involved the murder of two young men who were cousins of the defendant and the attempted murder of his uncle,” said Aguillard. “Our hearts go out to the Hollins family who is very torn by this case. However, we feel that justice was served this week and that the jury got it right.” Eighteenth Judicial District Court Judge Kevin Kimball, who presided over the trial, has set post trial motions for March 8. Second degree murder convictions carry a sentence of life in prison without benefit of probation or parole.