Louisiana man gets 8 years in newspaper carrier attack

October 7, 2022 GMT

LEESVILLE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man convicted for his role in an attack on a newspaper carrier has been sentenced to eight years behind bars, the maximum sentence allowed.

Jurors unanimously found Douglas Paul James, 33, of DeRidder, guilty in August of beating Woodie Blanks, 67, after he had just delivered a newspaper to the doorstep of James’ grandfather in Rosepine.

The Dec. 17, 2021, attack left Blanks partially blind.

James was sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in prison with one year suspended, The American Press reported. The judge also ordered him to serve three years of probation and pay a $2,000 fine once his prison term has ended.

Blanks said he had been fulfilling the request of his customer that morning when he walked up the driveway to the customer’s door to hand over that day’s paper. It was a request he said he received many times over the years of his work, and that he had never experienced any problems until that day.


“They (the attackers) asked me what I was doing there. I told them I was delivering the paper, like I had been for the past three years … that’s when they blindsided me,” Blanks told the newspaper in immediately after the attack. “One of them hit me and knocked me to the ground. They kept hitting me.”

James said during the trial that he did not intend to seriously harm Blanks, and that, so early in the morning, he had believed Blanks was a prowler seen at the property before.

James brother, Dillon Matthew James, was also charged in the attack. His trial is scheduled for later this month.