UPDATE November 18, 2020: A True Bill (indictment) was filed against Jonah Gobert, 29, S Beulah Street, Eunice LA, for the second degree murder of Benjamin Hurks, on or about September 8, 2020.
A second degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
An indictment (True Bill) is a formal charge by a Grand Jury for the crimes indicated. A Grand Jury consists of twelve residents, with two alternates, who are empanelled by the 27th Judicial District Court. By Louisiana law, the DA's office is prohibited from commenting on the evidence presented to the Grand Jury. Specifically Code of Criminal Procedure Article 434, requires that “...members of the grand jury, and all other persons having confidential access to information concerning grand jury proceedings, shall keep secret the testimony of witnesses and all other matters occurring at, or directly connected with, a meeting of the grand jury...” For this reason there is never a discussion about the evidence upon which the Grand Jury based it findings.
Eunice, LA-According to Chief of Police Randy Fontenot,on Tuesday, September 8, Eunice Police responded to a call of someone being shot in an apartment at S. Beulah Street. The call was received at 8:01 P.M. On arrival , officers located the suspect, Jonah Gobert, 29, in the apartment crying out loudly. Gobert’s brother, Benjamin Hurks, 35, was slumped over on a sofa bed, unresponsive, with a gun shot wound to the head. Hurks was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office. Gobert was taken into custody on a warrant for an August 23, 2020 incident being charged with Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Assault and Aggravated Battery. The Aggravated Battery charge is a felony offense. A .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene. Chief Fontenot reports the shooting is still under investigation and charges are pending. Although still in guarded custody, Gobert has not been booked into jail and is receiving medical care at the this time. The illness he is being treated for is unrelated to this incident. A charge of Second - Degree Murder is likely upon Gobert’s release from the hospital.