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Pastor sentenced to two years in 2009 shooting

Last Modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:54 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A local pastor was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for shooting two people in June 2009.

Barry Welton Thomas, 53, pleaded guilty to second-degree battery in September. Thomas is the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church on Fifth Avenue.

According to reports at the time of the incident, Thomas and eight other people were smoking crack in a mobile home at 470 W. Telephone Road in Moss Bluff when he fired 14 shots into the home.

Two people were taken to the hospital and treated for injuries to the neck, chest and leg. When police arrived, Thomas was lying on the ground in the front yard, pointing a semiautomatic pistol toward the home.

The owner of the home was not there at the time of the shooting, police said.

Judge Clayton Davis sentenced Thomas to a five-year sentence with three years suspended. He also ordered Thomas to pay $200,000 in restitution for the two men’s medical bills, prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth said.

Thomas was immediately taken into custody. His attorney, Todd Clemons, acknowledged that Thomas has an addiction to crack and was on crack at the time of the crime. He said Thomas had “some type of psychotic episode.”

Clemons asked the court for five years suspended, during which time Thomas could be under supervision for his drug problem.

Addressing the court, Thomas said he was not happy about what had happened and called it a “bad character move.” He said that when the crime occurred, he had been up for a few days doing drugs.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “It felt like I was being attacked.”

Thomas’ previous criminal history includes charges of animal cruelty, theft over $500 and drug possession.

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