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A tight-fisted septuagenarian client showed up at her attorney’s office without an appointment, clutching a loaded shotgun sheathed in a towel, clad in surgical gloves with bags sealing her feet.
“I’m here to kill you,” Patricia Currie snarled at her then-attorney, Keith Couture, who was standing a foot away from her inside of his law office back on Oct. 27, 2016.
The woman then lifted a white towel revealing a .410 shotgun.
“I immediately I grabbed the barrel and then pointed it away from me, and wrestled it away from her,” Couture told Oxygen.com.
After one mistrial, a jury in a subsequent trial in August needed only 15 minutes to determine the 78-year-old Currie was guilty of the crime, according to The Times-Picayune.
On Thursday, Currie was sentenced to 22 years by Judge Alan Zaunbrecher of the 22nd Judicial District Court for the attempted murder of Couture.
Initially, prosecutors pushed for Currie to receive the maximum sentence of 50 years, while her attorneys asked for the minimum of 10 years, the publication reported.
Currie had been embroiled in a 30-year dispute against her homeowner’s association in Mandeville, Louisiana.
According to Couture, the woman refused to “pay her dues.”
The attorney took her case back in 2016, and managed to prevent her home from being auctioned away by local sheriffs, he said.
“I stopped the sale and saved her house.”
Some years passed and Couture said his client again “stopped paying” the dues, which brought more tension between Currie and the homeowner’s association.
Then, Currie came into a small windfall.
But rather than satisfy the outstanding homeowner’s debts of what Couture estimated to be around “a couple thousand dollars,” Currie had plans to spend the dough on her terms.
“She had some money come to her and she wanted to use that money for other things,” the attorney explained.
During a hearing, a judge mandated Currie to “pay your dues” to the homeowner’s association.
The unfavorable ruling apparently set Currie off, Couture said.
“At that point I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak,” he said.
Couture said he was Currie’s second target.
“She actually went to another attorney’s office before she went to mine,” he said. “She went to his office but he wasn’t there, so she didn’t do anything.
“But then she went to my office afterward and she had the gloves on, the bags on her feet and the towel hiding the gun.”
Couture was in his office when he saw Currie approach him wearing blue latex gloves and plastic grocery bags for shoes.
“She was in the waiting area and I asked her, “What are you doing here?’ because she didn’t have an appointment."
Currie removed a white towel to show off the firepower.
“It was fight or flight,” Couture recalled as he was less than one foot away from the armed elderly woman.
“She tried to keep it,” Couture said.
But he wouldn’t let her.
“Luckily, I was close and able to grab it immediately,” he said. “It was very quick, thankfully.”
Once disarmed, Currie was stuck in his office and had shed her gloves and plastic shopping bags. Meanwhile, Couture alerted neighbors in the building and they dialed 911.
Police arrived within minutes, he said.
When Currie was arrested, Couture learned that she had managed to keep her ammo cleverly hidden.
“When the cops searched her, she had ammunition in her undergarments,” he said.
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