Merck gets 35 years for shooting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – One of two men accused of shooting Concordia Parish sheriff’s Deputy Jim Boyd pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to 35 years Wednesday by Judge Leo Boothe in Seventh Judicial District Court.

Elby Merck, 19, of Monterey pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 50 years. Merck must now serve 85 percent of his sentence, or almost 30 years, before he can be eligible for parole. His trial was set for Dec. 13.

&uot;I was very pleased,&uot;&160;Boyd said of Merck’s plea. &uot;I&160;was glad it was over with and that I&160;wouldn’t have to go through a trial. I’ll be an old, old man when they get out (of prison).&uot;

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&uot;It was a total surprise to me,&uot;&160;said Ronnie McMillan, assistant district attorney. &uot;I had already started preparing for trial three weeks ago.&uot;

Merck and Jeremy Passman, 20, also of Monterey, had been accused of shooting Boyd, 43, of July 3, at Boyd’s Monterey home. Boyd was shot in the jaw, neck and hand with a .22-caliber pistol and needed multiple surgeries.

An unnamed 13-year-old allegedly accompanied Passman and Merck to Boyd’s home, but the boy was not charged with a crime.

Passman pleaded guilty in February to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder after agreeing to testify at Merck’s trial. McMillan said he will now file a motion to set sentencing for Nov. 10 for Passman, who is being held in the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility.

In May, Boothe ruled Merck was competent to stand trial after two psychiatrists said they found Merck understood the proceedings against him and was able to help in his own defense.