Louisiana man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend, kidnapping child in 2016

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Johnathan Talley (St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office)

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — A Washington Parish man pleads guilty to killing his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping their three-year-old son.

It was reported that Jonathon David Talley, 40, of Bogalusa pled guilty to manslaughter, second degree kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Talley was billed as a multiple offender and in total, was sentenced to serve 65 years for manslaughter, 65 years for second-degree kidnapping, and 40 years for possession of the firearm by a convicted felon. No benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence will be granted.

The charges date back to 2016 when an enraged Talley entered the Pearl River home of his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Aimee Kirst, 33. He was in violation of a protective order that required him to stay away from his son and the child’s mother.

In a 2018 trial, two Assistant District Attorneys argued that Talley entered the house with the intention to kill Kirst and then shot her in the back of the head as she tried to hide in her son’s bedroom.

Talley claimed he never intended to kill Kirst and instead, had planned on shooting himself in front of her. He argued the gun accidentally went off as he was following Kirst into the child’s bedroom.

A videotaped hearing with the former couple’s son revealed the child’s testimony of the shooting. The three-year-old described hearing his father threatened to shoot his mother in the head, hearing the gunshot, seeing is mother bleed to death, and wishing he could “put on his Spiderman costume and punch his dad.”

The child said his father shot his mother because she had been “aggravating him all day.”

In the events following the shooting, Talley left the house with his son and drove to his mother’s house in Lucedale, Mississippi. Talley told his mother and stepfather that he had shot Kirst and the authorities were called.

Following the 2018 trial, Talley was found guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. However, neither the murder or the kidnapping case reached unanimous verdicts and the two counts were remanded to the District Court for a new trial pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana.

Court documents report this week’s plea was designed to give a life sentence to Talley, spare his now 7-year-old child from testifying against his father for a second time, and provide closure to the victim’s family.

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