FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2018
District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Michael Troy Donato, 26, of Slidell, pleaded guilty Tuesday (Feb. 20) to two counts of attempted first degree murder, four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. District Judge Martin Coady sentenced Donato to 35 years in prison to be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
In January 2017, Donato robbed several patrons at gunpoint inside Mr. Joe’s Chinese Restaurant on Gause Boulevard in Slidell. As Slidell Police Department officers arrived on the scene, Donato was exiting the building and opened fire on the officers. One of the robbery victims was seriously injured when she fled the restaurant, attempted to hide behind a vehicle to avoid the gunshots, and was run over by a car whose driver was also trying to flee the gunfire. Officers returned fire, striking Donato in the abdomen and leg. Donato fell to the ground and was apprehended by Officers Charles Goleman and Brandon Callais.
At the time of his plea, Donato gave a statement, taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing to the victims. He also thanked the officers involved for their sacrifice every day and for sparing his life that day. Officer Goleman was present in court at the time of the plea and thanked Donato for his apology and for taking responsibility for his actions. He also expressed his forgiveness to Donato.
Donato was represented by Attorneys Jason Williams and Nicole Burdett. The case was investigated by Louisiana State Police Trooper Chris Anderson and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Holly McGinness.