Timothy Teasley found guilty of 2nd-degree murder, attempted 2nd-degree murder

Sentencing set for Oct. 17 in the Rapides Parish Courthouse
A Rapides Parish Jury has found Timothy Teasley, 30, of Alexandria, guilty of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A Rapides Parish Jury has found Timothy Teasley, 30, of Alexandria, guilty of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Teasley was charged with the Feb. 14, 2017, deadly shooting of Thair Zidan, 27, a clerk at Chi-Town Gas & Grocery on Third Street in Alexandria. The attempted second-degree murder charge was for a co-worker of Zidan’s who Teasley shot at, but missed. Prosecutors said Teasley shot Zidan because two weeks prior Zidan reported Teasley’s girlfriend for shoplifting.

Source: RPSO
Source: RPSO(KALB)

Teasley had pleaded “not guilty by reason of insanity.” Two psychiatrists offered differing opinions on his condition. One doctor believed he was schizophrenic based on reviewing prior medical records, meeting with Teasley for two hours and speaking with Teasley’s sister about family history. The other said he had an “anti-social personality disorder” based on a lengthier review, which included watching the surveillance video, an interview Teasley did with APD and listening to a jail call. This doctor was adamant that Teasley knew right from wrong.

It took the jury about an hour to reach their verdict. Teasley had no reaction when the verdict was read.

Meanwhile, Lou Zeidan, the brother of Thair, held a framed picture of his brother while awaiting the verdict, breaking into tears upon the first “guilty” reading.

Lou Zeidan, the brother of Thair, held a framed picture of his brother while awaiting the...
Lou Zeidan, the brother of Thair, held a framed picture of his brother while awaiting the verdict, breaking into tears upon the first “guilty” reading.(KALB)

”I think that the team that we had with the evidence they have brought forth, made the decision almost inevitable in my eyes,” said Lou. “It has been this whole time, and when they came back with a guilty verdict, it has made these five and a half years, just all these emotions for the past five and a half years come rushing forth. I cannot tell you the amount of justice that this brought to our family. Even though it won’t bring him back, nothing will. This guy could live four lifetimes, and it’ll never be anywhere near my brother. However, with that said, I think it’s just. It is the system that we have and the society that we live in. And, when you have an amazing prosecuting team that is going after the truth and justice for the family, that’s all I could ask for.”

“We are extremely pleased that the jury was able to see through the ruse that is the insanity defense, particularly in this case,” said Assistant District Attorney Brian Cespiva, one of the prosecutors for the State. “We believe that the jury listened intently to the psychiatric experts and realized that he knew very well when he killed Thair Zidan and tried to kill Mr. Alzubi, he knew exactly what he was doing, and he knew what he was doing was wrong. And I’m glad that the jury was able to see through that defense.”

Defense Attorney Chad Guillot requested that the jury be polled, a process to determine that each individual on the jury was in agreeance on a guilty verdict. After Judge Chris Hazel confirmed the unanimous verdict, the polled jury slips were placed under seal, per the request of the prosecution.

“Well, the verdict, you know, is not surprising, but everyone deserves the best defense that they can get,” said Guillot. “We did what we could. We put on the evidence that we had. And unfortunately, the jury just didn’t see it our way.”

The only question the jury had during deliberation was a request to listen to a phone call Teasley made from jail, where he had talked about going for an insanity plea, as well as reports from the two psychiatric physicians who testified. The physicians’ reports were not submitted into evidence, so the only request that could be fulfilled was the replay of the jail phone call. The jury specifically requested the phone call be played “without disturbance.”

In an interview with News Channel 5, Guillot noted that Teasley’s behavior was “disruptive” for the defense attorneys, prosecution, jury and judge.

“That sort of was the reason we had this insanity is because we thought he couldn’t really act reasonably,” said Guillot. “This kind of showed that he has some type of mental disorder, but obviously not enough that the jury felt that this was an insanity defense.”

Teasley will be sentenced on Oct. 17.

Teasley is represented by Chad Guillot and Randall Hayes, with Brian Cespiva, Johnny Giordano and Monica Doss acting as prosecution for the State. Judge Hazel presided.

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