On May 22, 2018, the last of 3 defendants charged in connection with the 2015 shooting of an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputy pled guilty in Ascension Parish District Court. These guilty pleas were the result of plea agreements with prosecutors following the shooting of Dty. James Atkins and the armed robbery of a Donaldsonville resident. These defendants were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Joni Buquoi, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Jessie LeBlanc.
On January 20, 2015, Dty. James Atkins of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spotted a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle used by 3 suspects following a theft of ammunition from the Donaldsonville Wal-Mart earlier in the day. Dty. Atkins followed the vehicle while waiting for additional units prior to initiating a traffic stop. The driver stopped the vehicle and a front seat passenger identified as Chadwik Schwender, exited the vehicle and fired multiple shots from a handgun striking Dty. Atkins in the hand as well as an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol car. Dty. Atkins ran to a nearby residence where a homeowner called 911 to report the incident. Schwender and the other suspects who were identified as John McMullen and Jennifer Mcghee fled the area in the suspect vehicle, which was determined to be stolen, to a nearby residence where they held the homeowner at gunpoint and robbed him of his car keys. While attempting to leave in this vehicle, the suspects were unable to get it running. Schwender then got back into the original suspect vehicle and fled leaving McMullen and Mcghee behind. Mcghee was apprehended by law enforcement shortly after. Deputies observed Schwender in the stolen vehicle and gave chase. Schwender refused to stop and crashed into a nearby ditch. Schwender was subsequently taken into custody. Several hours later, McMullen was located in a wooded area and taken into custody as well. All subjects were booked into the Ascension Parish Detention Center.
On May 15, 2017, 31-year-old Jennifer Mcghee of Florida, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Pursuant to the plea agreement with prosecutors, Mcghee was sentenced to 15 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.
On March 15, 2018, 31-year-old Chadwik Schwender of Florida, pled guilty to Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. Pursuant to the plea agreement with prosecutors, Schwender was sentenced to 40 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. The said sentence is to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
On May 22, 2018, 38-year-old John McMullen of Florida, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery. Pursuant to the plea agreement with prosecutors, McMullen was sentenced to 25 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. The said sentence is to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
McMullen and Mcghee are also facing charges in the state of Florida in connection with a homicide.