GRETNA, LA — Thursday night, June 15, a jury in Jefferson Parish convicted a man in the December 2015 murder at a business in Kenner.
According to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, John Spears used an insanity defense. They say his attorneys argued that Spears had a history of mental illness and claimed to have suffered a delusional psychotic episode when he shot 49-year-old Anthony Tardo of Mandeville.
The shooting happened at about 3:30 in the afternoon at Houston Marine Training Services in the 2500 block of Williams Boulevard.
Prosecutors say Spears shot Tardo once in the chest with a .40 caliber pistol. After the attack, they say Spears walked to the parking lot, removed the magazine from the pistol, and placed the gun on his car. Tardo died at the scene.
According to the DA’s office, the two men had been coworkers for about a year and a half. Tardo was a site supervisor at the business which helped people obtain licenses to work in the offshore industry. Spears was an instructor.
In a written statement announcing the conviction, prosecutors say that on the morning of the murder, Spears told another coworker that he was going to shoot someone. But the coworker thought Spears was joking, and no other employees noticed anything amiss between the two men.
Spears faces a mandatory life sentence.