A Shreveport man was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder of a Shreveport police officer and aggravated flight Wednesday, October 4, 2023 in Caddo District Court.
The four-man, eight-woman jury in District Judge Donald E. Hathaway Jr.’s court deliberated two-and-a-half hours before returning its guilty-as-charged verdicts against Lavonta Smith, 25.
The jury determined that on October 29, 2021, Smith fled from former SPD officer Joshua Sass following a traffic stop and during the chase fired several shots at Sass.
At around 2:45 a.m. that day, Officer Sass saw Smith run a red light at a railroad crossing and attempted to make a traffic stop. Smith led police on a chase through the Ingleside and Cedar Grover neighborhoods and during the dispute fired three shots from a semi-automatic firearm, the bullets striking Sass’s front driver-side windshield. The chase ended when Smith’s vehicle ran off the road in the 100 block of 77th street and Smith fled on foot. He was apprehended in the back yard of a neighborhood residence.
When Smith returns to Judge Hathaway’s court for sentencing November 6, 2023, he faces up to five years at hard labor in prison for the aggravated flight from an officer conviction. For the conviction for attempted first-degree murder he faces at least 10 and up to 50 years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys William Edwards and Jason Waltman prosecuted Smith. Smith was defended by Elizabeth Gibson and Carter Lawrence.
The case was docket No. 386081.