A St. Tammany Parish jury found a 70-year-old Carriere, Mississippi man guilty of assault for pointing a gun at another man’s head during an argument at a game pickleball in Lacombe, authorities said on Tuesday.
Robert John Morrison faces up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm, according to a press release from the office of 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery.
Morrison and a 55-year-old man argued during a game in May 2020. During Morrison’s trial last Thursday, witnesses said the men had previously engaged in arguments over sports, according to the press release.
“I really thought he was going to shoot him,” testified a witness.
Morrison told the court that he was “standing up for his life, his liberty and his freedom”. His attorney told the jury that Morrison was acting in self-defense to save his life, the prosecutor’s office said.
Authorities said during the argument that Morrison recovered a handgun from his truck. He cocked it, pointed it at the victim’s head and said, “It’s loaded,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Morrison also threatened the victim with a 2×4 plank, the prosecutor’s office said.
Morrison was arrested at the Henry J. Calamari Memorial Tennis Center in Slidell where police found a gun in his tennis bag.
During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover addressed the jury. “I don’t want this to become the new norm. This can’t be the way we respond to disagreements on the pickleball court,” he said.
Sentencing is set for January 31, 2023.