November 17, 2023
Madisonville Man Sentenced to 30 Years on Second Degree Battery Conviction
COVINGTON – The District Attorney’s Office reports that on November 15, 2023, District Judge John Keller sentenced Bryan Paul Rucker, 43, of Madisonville, on his second-degree battery conviction. In September of 2023, it took a jury 45 minutes to find him guilty as charged. Judge Keller found Rucker to be a repeat offender and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. Rucker’s prior convictions include burglaries, domestic violence, drug offenses and physical opposition to law enforcement officers.
In September of 2020, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of domestic violence at a residence in Covington. A witness who was present in the home with the defendant and his live-in girlfriend reported that the defendant became enraged and attacked his girlfriend, putting his hands around her neck, throwing her to the ground and getting on top of her. Upon the victim telling the witness to call the police, the witness ran across the street to a neighbor’s residence, prompting the neighbor to call 911.
STPSO deputies located the victim alone in the residence, struggling to take deep breaths, bleeding, and covered in bruises. She was transported to St. Tammany Parish Hospital where she was diagnosed with several rib fractures, a fractured nose, and countless contusions resulting from physical assault.
At trial, the jury was permitted to hear evidence of a second assault on the victim committed in January of 2021, via the presentation of a video recorded by the victim demonstrating visible swelling and bruising to her face in which she told the defendant “You beat the crap out of me.” The state also presented evidence of the defendant’s prior conviction for domestic abuse battery against another victim.
The victim in this case passed away in February of 2021. In her absence, the State relied on testimony from the eyewitness of the assault as well as law enforcement and medical professionals. The victim’s cousin testified to witnessing the victim’s fear and pain firsthand. In closing, Assistant District Attorney Christina Fisher urged the jury to be a voice for the victim after her passing, stating: “There is no other way to describe this than a beat down. Bryan Rucker broke ribs on both sides of her body. He broke her nose, and he left her bruised from head to toe.”
Assistant District Attorneys Christina Fisher and Elizabeth Authement prosecuted the case.