Former La. sheriff gets probation for hunting trip

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The former sheriff of East Carroll Parish will spend three years on federal probation for going hunting with a convicted felon while he was still in office.

U.S. District Judge Robert G. James sentenced Mark Wayne Shumate, 52, of Lake Providence, La., Monday to probation for one count of aiding and abetting a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced Monday in a press release.

Shumate must pay an assessment of $100, and the plea contained a special condition barring Shumate from further any former law enforcement service in Louisiana.

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“A fine will not be imposed,” a portion of his sentencing order says.

He faced up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The former sheriff and a convicted felon, whose criminal record prevented him from possessing a firearm, went hunting together Jan. 8, 2010, according to court records. During the hunting trip, Shumate provided a rifle and ammunition for the convicted felon, who is not identified in court records.

Shumate had full knowledge that the person accompanying him was barred from possessing and firing a firearm, according to evidence presented at his guilty plea April 1.

The FBI and ATF conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph G. Jarzabek prosecuted the case.

Shumate was sheriff of East Carroll Parish from 2000 until 2011 when he was defeated by current Sheriff Wydette Williams.