Confessed killer out of coma, but won't stand trial for crime
A Luling man who shot himself after confessing to killing a friend has been released to a care facility after coming out of a coma.
Gary Farrell, 43, allegedly shot and killed Ginger Allen on Sept. 22, 2010 before putting her body in the trunk of his car and going to St. Charles Parish Hospital to receive treatment for back pain. Upon leaving the hospital, Farrell called police and confessed to the crime. A six-hour standoff between Farrell and the Sheriff’s Office ended when he shot himself in the head at his Luling home. During the standoff, Farrell had told dispatchers that he would not come out alive.
"He basically attempted suicide," St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said. "He had a small caliber handgun, a .22, he shot himself in the head and shot out part of his brain."
Champagne said Farrell’s injuries are severe enough that although he has come out of the coma, he will not be able to stand trial for the crime.
"The best information we have is that he is not much above a vegetable," Champagne said. "He is probably in a comparable state to a mentally retarded person. He can’t even speak."
Allen’s sister, Alyce Mongrue, said in an interview before her own death last year that Farrell and Allen had been long-time friends before the incident and that Allen would help Farrell by driving him to the grocery store and other places.
Mongrue also said that Farrell had a history of manic-depression, or bi-polar disorder, and that he had been romantically interested in Allen, but she was not interested in a romantic relationship with him.
The Farrell murder-suicide attempt was the first of four similar cases that have occurred in the parish in the past two years.
In January 2011, Carroll Charles Jr. shot and killed Fenisha Charles in Destrehan before taking his own life. Their bodies were later discovered by their 15-year-old daughter. In May 2011, Curry Lewis killed Santana Marshall in her Des Allemands driveway and was later found dead in his car with three self-inflicted gunshot wounds to his body and one under his chin.
In the latest incident that occurred only a few weeks ago, Otto Barrera shot his wife in the head with a shotgun in their Norco home before shooting himself in the face. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter witnessed the shooting before fleeing the home to contact the Sheriff’s Office.
Champagne said Barrera recently underwent reconstructive facial surgery, but his wife is in much worse condition.
The Barrera’s are still in critical condition and are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at LSU Hospital in New Orleans.
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