BATON ROUGE, LA – Recent testimony delivered in court in relation to the case against accused cop-killer Ronnie Kato revealed more details into the final moments of 45-year-old Baton Rouge Police Officer Glenn Hutto Jr., before he was gunned down in April of this year.
Baton Rouge Police Homicide Detective Logan Collins delivered the insight on July 17th, saying that Officer Hutto attempted to radio for assistance after both he and Officer Derrick Maglone were initially wounded by Kato on April 26th.
At an emotional hearing Friday, a Baton Rouge detective described the scene captured in an audio recording of the April slayings of two BRPD officers by Ronnie Kato.
Get the latest details from the hearing here: ⬇⬇https://t.co/1HgKs3cN0h
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) July 18, 2020
Detective Collins stated that Officer Hutto had managed to crawl his way over to Officer Maglone’s body, who was unconscious at the time, and called for assistance, and then Kato stood over Officer Hutto’s body and two rounds into the wounded officer – killing him:
“You hear two shots and his voice fades. Those final two shots, Mr. Kato was standing over Sgt. Hutto.”
After the murder of Officer Hutto, he was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant. As for Officer Maglone, the 35-year-old officer was subsequently released from the hospital on May 7th following the encounter that led to his fellow officer dying.
The hearing taking place on July 17th was a probable cause hearing, in which after witness testimony was delivered, District Judge Richard Anderson found that there was sufficient probable cause to hold 36-year-old Kato on first-degree murder charges.
In a sense, the court appearance merely reaffirmed that Kato’s arrest was properly applied.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that his office will be going for the death penalty in this case, with attorney Dana Cummings serving as the prosecutor. While the case has not yet gone to the grand jury, Cummings noted that will be occurring soon.
Kato is currently being held without bail.
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In case you missed the original report, there’s more to this case than just the murder of a police officer. Here’s the original report we ran at Law Enforcement Today back in April as this case was developing.
A fatal confrontation between police and a murder suspect left one Baton Rouge police officer dead and another seriously injured. The suspect, now in custody, was said to have stood over the deceased officer’s body to fire additional rounds into them.
Police say that the events that played out on April 26th began as a domestic dispute, but quickly escalated to violence and murder. The suspect, 36-year-old Ronnie Kato, was taken into custody after police alleged him being responsible for the murders of BRPD Sgt. Glenn Dale Hutto and 58-year-old Curtis Richardson.
— Winston Gin (@ufeellucky) April 28, 2020
Investigators say that Kato and his girlfriend were having some sort of disagreement on April 26th, and the suspect’s girlfriend had gone to her mother’s home to likely cool off and get some distance from Kato.
Then, just before 9:30 a.m. that day, Kato had allegedly kicked in the door of his girlfriend’s mother’s house, and pistol whipped his significant other.
The girlfriend of the suspect stated that he then exited the home, and then returned carrying a rifle. Kato was allegedly firing several rounds at the house while shouting, “where she sat?”
Once the gunfire had stopped, the girlfriend looked over to see her stepfather, Curtis Richardson, had been shot.
The American Psychological Association had recently noted concerns of the possibility that domestic violence cases would be transpiring more often due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Kato had then allegedly fled the scene after the shooting at the Pamela Drive home, and officers from the BRPD were sent to a home in Baton Rouge’s Howell Park neighborhood after a tip came in that Kato may be there. Police were slated to engage in a “knock and talk”, and two officers headed to the backyard of the home to make sure Kato wouldn’t attempt to escape.
Ronnie Kato ambushed officers then allegedly stood over a dead officer’s body while continuing to shoot him at point-blank range., affidavit says https://t.co/dJkeYjCkho
— atasteofcreole (@atasteofcreole) April 28, 2020
According to the released affidavit, the following then happened:
“As they approached the backyard Kato opened fire with an assault style rifle striking both officers.”
Authorities say that the backyard confrontation left one officer severely injured, and Sgt. Hutto dead. From what the affidavit states, Kato had positioned himself over Sgt. Hutto and began firing additional rounds into him:
“Evidence on scene indicated that the suspect stood over the deceased officer and shot him multiple times. … Several of the wounds appeared to be close contact.”
Kato had then reportedly barricaded himself inside of the home for numerous hours after the shooting. After a multi-hour standoff, police had eventually taken Kato into custody without incident. He was later booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder, five counts of home invasion and one count of aggravated battery.
R/T ScotNational The suspect, named as Ronnie Kato, 36, was taken into custody on Sunday eveninghttps://t.co/UD0ZiuiqKS
— Govan SNP (@GovanSnp) April 28, 2020
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III stated that they’ll likely be seeking the death penalty against Kato, but that could change after speaking with the families of the victims in the case:
“My office rarely seeks the death penalty. We do so only in the most serious of cases. Based on what I know now, I believe that pursuing this matter as a death penalty case is what justice would demand.”
Sgt. Hutto had served with the BRPD for 21 years, according to officials. BRPD Chief Murphy Paul commented on the saddening news of their fallen officer:
“Our officers — talk about being public servants and the responsibility that comes along with being a law enforcement officer. This is a call no chief wants to get.”
Kato’s criminal history isn’t a rap sheet that would necessarily lead one to suspect a murderous rampage was something he’d engage in. He’d apparently had two minor drug possession cases from 2001 and 2010 and had gotten a traffic ticket in 2013.
— WBRZ News (@WBRZ) April 27, 2020
The only possible warning sign of violence stemmed from a 2017 police report filed by Kato’s girlfriend where they’d had an argument while Kato was intoxicated. According to that 2017 report, Kato had threatened his girlfriend and allegedly stated that if she called the police on him then he’d pull a “Gavin Long” on the officers.
Gavin Long was responsible to the targeted murders of three police officer in Baton Rouge in 2016 and had also injured three others, before being taken down by police.
Interestingly, the nephew of the deceased Richardson who knew Kato for years, said that he doesn’t believe that Kato was planning on attacking police:
“There’s no way this was a planned attack on the police. He’s no Gavin Long. This was a domestic situation that blew up and he must have lost his mind. From that moment on, it’s almost like he had walked through the gates and couldn’t turn back around.”
Richardson’s nephew noted that he’s beginning to realize that catching the early warning signs of domestic violence is key, before circumstances like these transpire:
“Our family is torn apart and now other families have to mourn. My condolences for the officers and the police department. It’s just senseless.”
Senseless is right.
There are now two families suffering loss, and no explanation to deliver other than someone seemingly went over the edge.
We at Law Enforcement Today will keep the family of Sgt. Glenn Dale Hutto in our prayers, and also pray for a speedy recovery for the officer injured in the standoff as well. For the family of Curtis Richardson, we hope that they can heal from this ordeal as well.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt