COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on August 16, 2023, after a 20-minute deliberation, a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found John Richard Oalmann, 37, of Madisonville, Louisiana, guilty as charged of domestic abuse battery committed in the presence of a child. District Judge Richard Swartz presided over the trial.

In February of 2021, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic disturbance. The victim and the defendant had argued over whether to continue watching a movie. During the argument, the defendant followed the victim into the kitchen and hit a plate of food out of her hands. The victim went into the bedroom to get away, but the defendant followed her. As she was packing clothes to leave, the defendant grabbed a dresser drawer and threw it at her. He then slapped her in the face and put her in a choke hold. During the altercation, the victim’s 3-year-old child was present. The defendant’s mother called the police and he fled the scene.

A number of the defendant’s family members were present in the home and gave statements to police. The victim had various markings on her body consistent with having been assaulted. During their investigation, deputies observed the dresser drawer on the floor of the bedroom.  After speaking with the victim and various members of the defendant’s family, officers located the defendant at a nearby gas station. While speaking with the defendant, an officer asked the defendant: “Why do you like putting your hands on women?” He replied, “I try not to… I have an anger problem.”

During trial, the jury was presented with body camera video from that evening. Additionally, one of the investigating officers, two of the defendant’s family members, and the victim testified.

In her closing argument to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Hosli addressed the jury, “He is an abuser, a coward, and saying he has a bad temper is just an excuse. We cannot excuse him. He made the choice to put his hands on his fiancé in front of a child. In this parish we hold those people accountable.”

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on October 20, 2023. The defendant has four prior felony convictions, including a 2013 negligent homicide.

Assistant District Attorneys Zachary Popovich and Gabrielle Hosli prosecuted the case.