NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "We make an offer to an individual, asking him to accept responsibility for the wrongdoing. These were some very serious charges," said District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
Just moments before his trial was set to begin, Euric Cain withdrew his not guilty plea and admitted to a slew of charges against him.
Cain pleaded guilty to shooting Tulane medical student Peter Gold after Gold tried to intervene in the attempted kidnapping of a woman in the Lower Garden District back in November of last year.
Cain shot Gold in the stomach, and graphic surveillance video showed how he tried to shoot him in the head, but the gun jammed.
Cain also admitted that 24 hours after committing that crime, he kidnapped a couple in the Treme neighborhood and forced them to drive to an abandoned school in the Desire neighborhood where he raped and robbed them both.
"His lawyer had talked to us about the possibility of entering a plea of guilty. He wanted to know what was it we would accept if he did enter a plea of guilty," Cannizzaro said.
The plea deal included amending the first-degree rape counts to second-degree rape and reducing the aggravated kidnapping charges to second-degree kidnapping.
"If they would have left it at aggravated kidnapping or first-degree rape, there's a mandatory life sentence, so he would have had nothing to lose. He would have automatically gone to trial," says FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.
Cain at first rejected the deal, but changed his mind Monday in court. According to the agreement, his sentence will be served concurrently without the possibility of an early release. The sentence will be capped at 50 years for the attempted first-degree murder of Peter Gold.
"So, he's not going to get out before the age of 70, so I think the DA weighs the pains and aggravation and intensity of putting the victims through a trial, so such an horrific act versus getting this guy off the streets for 50 years," Raspanti said.
Cain also pleaded guilty today in a separate case for battery on a correctional officer. The judge will decide his sentence, which will be served consecutively to the plea deal.
Cain will be formally sentenced next Monday.
The victims in this case are expected in court next Monday to give victim impact statements.
Meanwhile, victim Peter Gold released this statement today:
"I am thankful for the hard work of law enforcement and the District Attorney's office in New Orleans. They have been professional throughout and have taken this traumatic incident and successfully brought this man to justice. My thoughts and prayers are with the other victims; we have all been through much this year. I also remain thankful to all who supported me, Tulane University and the staff at University Medical Center for saving my life and continuing to do their amazing work every day in our community."