WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Crime Crime en-us Copyright 2024, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 20 Apr 2024 HH:04:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Gonzales PD looking for person who shot, killed man driving along Burnside Highway on Friday night https://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-pd-looking-for-person-who-shot-killed-man-driving-along-burnside-highway-on-friday-night/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-pd-looking-for-person-who-shot-killed-man-driving-along-burnside-highway-on-friday-night/ Crime Sat, 9 Dec 2023 6:20:32 PM Logan Cullop Gonzales PD looking for person who shot, killed man driving along Burnside Highway on Friday night

GONZALES - Police in Gonzales are looking for a person who shot and killed a man driving along Burnside Highway on Friday night. 

Officers said Craig Haynes Jr. of Darrow was driving along Burnside Highway between LA 30 and Worthy Road around 11 p.m. when he was shot. Haynes Jr. was taken to a hospital and died on Saturday. 

Anyone with information should call (225) 647-9580. 

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BRPD looking for information on Airline Highway hit-and-run https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-looking-for-information-on-airline-highway-hit-and-run/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-looking-for-information-on-airline-highway-hit-and-run/ Crime Sun, 10 Dec 2023 10:55:06 AM Adam Burruss BRPD looking for information on Airline Highway hit-and-run

BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Police is seeking information on a hit-and-run that took place December 2 in the 9600 block of Airline Highway.

Detectives are searching for a black 2014-2024 Toyota 4-Runner that was last seen in the hit-and-run of a bicyclist. The vehicle sustained damage to the passenger side headlight and surrounding area. It is also missing the passenger side's plastic mirror cover. It was last seen northbound on Airline Highway.

Anyone with information should call 344-7867.

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Officials seize over $300,000 worth of narcotics in Ponchatoula drug bust https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-seize-over-300-000-worth-of-narcotics-in-ponchatoula-drug-bust/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-seize-over-300-000-worth-of-narcotics-in-ponchatoula-drug-bust/ Crime Sat, 9 Dec 2023 12:21:02 PM WBRZ Staff Officials seize over $300,000 worth of narcotics in Ponchatoula drug bust

PONCHATOULA - The Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office arrested three Ponchatoula subjects after seizing over $300,000 worth of narcotics Friday morning.

Deputies seized approximately one ounce of heroin, two kilos of methamphetamine, and approximately 10,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills. The narcotics alone are estimated to be over $300,000 in street value alongside $100,000 in cash seized, making this bust the third-highest monetary seizure in TPSO history. 

Multiple firearms and suppressors were also seized, including one that had been reported as stolen.

The three people arrested were Michael Paul Lacava, 42, Merri Lauren Vaccaro, 29, and Andrew Robert Lombas, 36, Lacava and Vacarro received a litany of charges, including two counts of possession with intent to distribute schedule I controlled dangerous substances and three counts of possession with intent to distribute scheduled II controlled dangerous substances. Lombas was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Woman found dead; Deputies searching for boyfriend likely tied to her death https://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-found-dead-deputies-searching-for-boyfriend-likely-tied-to-her-death/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-found-dead-deputies-searching-for-boyfriend-likely-tied-to-her-death/ Crime Thu, 30 Nov 2023 8:10:41 AM WBRZ Staff Woman found dead; Deputies searching for boyfriend likely tied to her death

BATON ROUGE- East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies are looking for a man they believe had involvement in the death of his girlfriend.

Deputies responded to the Ivy Park Apartments on Jones Creek Road Wednesday, around 12 p.m., where they found 42-year-old Tonyetta Loveless dead.

Investigators believe she was fighting with her boyfriend 39-year-old Andre Weatherspoon the evening before and he was seen hitting her and flashing a gun at her.

Weatherspoon is believed to have left the area.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call local authorities or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 225-344-STOP.

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Man, 21, killed in overnight shooting on Old Rafe Mayer Road https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-21-killed-in-overnight-shooting-on-old-rafe-mayer-road/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-21-killed-in-overnight-shooting-on-old-rafe-mayer-road/ Crime Tue, 14 Nov 2023 6:04:23 AM WBRZ Staff Man, 21, killed in overnight shooting on Old Rafe Mayer Road

BATON ROUGE - a 21-year-old man was shot and killed along Old Rafe Mayer Road on Tuesday morning.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office confirms 21-year-old Clarence Jackson III was found dead around 12:30 a.m. on the 400 block of Old Rafe Mayer Road near Scenic Highway.

Deputies are investigating, no suspect or motive have been released.

This is a developing story.

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Trio formally charged with looting BR doctor's home after he died while taking drugs https://www.wbrz.com/news/trio-formally-charged-with-looting-br-doctor-s-home-after-he-died-while-taking-drugs/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/trio-formally-charged-with-looting-br-doctor-s-home-after-he-died-while-taking-drugs/ Crime Wed, 1 Nov 2023 12:40:45 PM WBRZ Staff Trio formally charged with looting BR doctor's home after he died while taking drugs

BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge district attorney has formally charged three people accused of rummaging through a doctor's house after he died while taking drugs in his own bedroom.

Court records obtained by WBRZ show that 21-year-old Elizabeth Rios, 29-year-old Kurtis Heard and 38-year-old Gainer Fleming were charged Monday in the case surrounding the death of James Greer, an emergency room doctor who was found dead in his Carter Avenue home Aug. 10.

Each faces counts of felony theft, failure to seek assistance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Arrest documents allege that Greer, 43, met up with the suspects at a hotel on N Harrell's Ferry Road hours before his death. 

After Greer asked Fleming whether Rios was "free" that night, all four rode together to Greer's home. There, Greer allegedly wrote a $300 check to pay for "Rios' company" and then went with her into his bedroom. 

Once inside, Rios says she and Greer stripped down and started using drugs. She said Greer was giving her a massage when he collapsed on top of her, unresponsive.

After she ran out of the room and told Fleming and Heard what happened, all three allegedly  turned the house over, stealing guns, laptops and other valuables. They then loaded the stolen goods into Greer's Land Rover and used it to flee the area, according to the arrest paperwork.

Greer's body was found days later, and police arrested all three suspects about two weeks after that.

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Would-be robber mobbed by angry tenants after botched heist at Baton Rouge apartment complex https://www.wbrz.com/news/would-be-robber-mobbed-by-angry-tenants-after-botched-heist-at-baton-rouge-apartment-complex/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/would-be-robber-mobbed-by-angry-tenants-after-botched-heist-at-baton-rouge-apartment-complex/ Crime Wed, 25 Oct 2023 2:00:17 PM Jeremy Krail Would-be robber mobbed by angry tenants after botched heist at Baton Rouge apartment complex

BATON ROUGE - A criminal's plot to rob several tenants at a Baton Rouge apartment complex by pretending to have a gun in his pocket backfired when the residents realized he was completely unarmed. 

The Baton Rouge Fire Department says 45-year-old Reginald Millican's plan involved pulling a fire alarm at the Port Royal apartments on Airline Highway and then robbing the panicked tenants as they exited their apartments.

The department said Millican approached the residents with his hands in his pockets, motioning as if he had a gun in his pants. When they realized Millican was unarmed, the tenants turned the tables on their attacker, beating him up and detaining him until law enforcement arrived. 

Millican was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and then booked into the East Baton Rouge jail on charges of terrorizing and fire prevention interference. 

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After finding body near gravel road, police make arrests in woman's grisly murder https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-finding-body-near-gravel-road-police-make-arrests-in-woman-s-grisly-murder/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-finding-body-near-gravel-road-police-make-arrests-in-woman-s-grisly-murder/ Crime Thu, 19 Oct 2023 1:53:54 PM WBRZ Staff After finding body near gravel road, police make arrests in woman's grisly murder

WALKER - Police announced two arrests in the killing of a 60-year-old woman, a day after they found her body wrapped in a shower curtain and dumped at a hunting lease in Livingston Parish.

The Walker Police Department identified the victim as Sarah Santini, who was last seen Oct. 7. Santini was found dead around 10 a.m. Thursday near a gravel road off LA 63, north of the town of Livingston.

Police say they received a tip that Santini was killed inside of her home in Walker last week. When they went to check it out, Santini and her car were missing, but investigators found signs of a struggle. 

“Our detectives found evidence that gave us concern that someone had been hurt inside the home,” Walker Police Chief David Addison said. “But without a victim or any witnesses, we were unable to determine what had happened or who was involved. Accordingly, our detectives immediately began an investigation.”

As of Friday, police believe she was strangled and stabbed, though they have not identified her precise cause of death. Investigators have reportedly recovered the weapons used in the killing. 

Santini's car was later found abandoned in LaPlace on Oct. 12. A search of the vehicle yielded signs of foul play and clues to where it was at the time of Santini's disappearance, which helped police locate the body.

Though police said they had a possible culprit in mind on Thursday, it wasn't until the next day they identified two suspects: Bobby Schneider and Gregory Baker.

Police believe Santini met the suspects at a party. 

Schneider, 34, was booked with second-degree murder. Baker, 56, is booked as an accessory after the fact. Both are also facing a charge for unlawful disposal of remains. 

Schneider's bond was set at $275,000, and Baker's was $50,000.

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Man allegedly led deputies on chase after carjacking woman in Prairieville https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-led-deputies-on-chase-after-carjacking-woman-in-prairieville/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-led-deputies-on-chase-after-carjacking-woman-in-prairieville/ Crime Mon, 16 Oct 2023 9:10:29 AM WBRZ Staff Man allegedly led deputies on chase after carjacking woman in Prairieville

PRAIRIEVILLE - A woman was reportedly pistol-whipped and robbed by a carjacker outside a restaurant in Ascension Parish over the weekend.

The crime was reported Friday night at a Subway on LA 42 in Prairieville, according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office. Someone claiming to be the victim, who did not wish to be identified as of Monday morning, tells WBRZ the attacker threatened to kill her as he struck her in the head. 

The robber, identified as 53-year-old Brent Chambliss, then led deputies on a brief pursuit before crashing the car. Chambliss was taken into custody and booked into the Ascension jail early Saturday morning on charges including carjacking, aggravated battery, aggravated flight from an officer and reckless operation. 

Chambliss had bond set at $350,000. 

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Suspected drug dealer arrested, found with heroin mixed with fentanyl https://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-drug-dealer-arrested-found-with-heroin-mixed-with-fentanyl/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-drug-dealer-arrested-found-with-heroin-mixed-with-fentanyl/ Crime Tue, 10 Oct 2023 9:06:40 PM Logan Cullop Suspected drug dealer arrested, found with heroin mixed with fentanyl

GEISMAR - After a two-week investigation, deputies in Ascension Parish arrested a suspected drug dealer on Monday. 

Deputies said they stopped 54-year-old Reggie Holland's car when he was leaving his Geismar home and found 55 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl, 82 grams of cocaine and a gun. Deputies added that Holland had warrants out for sexual battery and simple battery. 

Holland was booked with possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, illegal carrying of weapons, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, two-counts of sexual battery, and simple battery. 

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Accused drug dealer caught operating out of Baton Rouge suburb; 1,000 fentanyl pills, 24 guns seized https://www.wbrz.com/news/accused-drug-dealer-caught-operating-out-of-baton-rouge-suburb-1-000-fentanyl-pills-24-guns-seized/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/accused-drug-dealer-caught-operating-out-of-baton-rouge-suburb-1-000-fentanyl-pills-24-guns-seized/ Crime Tue, 3 Oct 2023 9:19:33 PM WBRZ Staff Accused drug dealer caught operating out of Baton Rouge suburb; 1,000 fentanyl pills, 24 guns seized

BATON ROUGE - An accused drug dealer was caught hoarding weapons and drugs — including more than 1,000 phony prescription pills laced with fentanyl — inside of a home nestled in a suburban Baton Rouge neighborhood Tuesday. 

The search spanned not only a house inside the Hunter's Glen neighborhood, located near the Ascension-East Baton Rouge parish line, but also at a storage unit on Coursey Boulevard.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said deputies spent three weeks investigating the suspected drug dealer who lived inside the home, 33-year-old Joshua Skal. After undercover officers bought drugs off Skal across multiple meetings, the sheriff's office obtained a warrant to search his home. 

Inside the house, deputies found three flashbangs, seven guns, more than $16,000 in cash and the following drugs:

-14 pounds of marijuana

-3,459 THC vape cartridges

-17 packages of THC-infused edibles

-5.6 pounds of THC wax

-3.95 ounces of cocaine

-1,000 pressed fentanyl pills

While searching the house, deputies also found the key to a storage unit. After Skal admitted to keeping weapons inside the unit, deputies say they went to Life Storage on Coursey Boulevard to investigate.

At the storage unit, deputies found another 17 guns, including two that were reported stolen in East Baton Rouge. They also found $300 cash and a large supply of ammunition.

Deputies also searched two vehicles registered under Skal's name, an Acura at Skal's house and a Mercedes Benz that was found parked outside a car dealership on Airline Highway.

Between the two vehicles, deputies seized another $670 in cash, 24 pressed fentanyl pills, 20 THC cartridges, more than two pounds of marijuana and about 79 grams of mushrooms. 

Investigators say Skal admitted to selling drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and  Percocet. When pressed about the fentanyl-laced pills, deputies say Skal admitted to knowingly selling fake Percocet. When questioned about the two stolen guns, Skal said he bought one off a friend and that he traded another friend marijuana for the other.

Skal was booked Tuesday on numerous drug and weapons charges. 

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Officers looking for group who stabbed man, stole his bicycle and wallet Sunday morning https://www.wbrz.com/news/officers-looking-for-group-who-stabbed-man-stole-his-bicycle-and-wallet-sunday-morning/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/officers-looking-for-group-who-stabbed-man-stole-his-bicycle-and-wallet-sunday-morning/ Crime Sun, 17 Sep 2023 8:45:55 AM Logan Cullop Officers looking for group who stabbed man, stole his bicycle and wallet Sunday morning

BATON ROUGE - Officers are looking for three people who stabbed a man, stole his bicycle and wallet then left him on the sidewalk Sunday morning. 

The Baton Rouge Police Department said the man walked into a hospital around 8 a.m. Sunday with three stab wounds to his back. The man told officers that two men and a woman stabbed him and then stole his things near the corner of South 12th Street and Terrace Avenue. 

The victim was treated for his injuries and is in stable condition. 

Anyone with information about the stabbing and robbery should call (225) 389-2000. 

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After 79-year-old man's murder, surveillance video played key role in his son's arrest https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-79-year-old-man-s-murder-surveillance-video-played-key-role-in-his-son-s-arrest/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-79-year-old-man-s-murder-surveillance-video-played-key-role-in-his-son-s-arrest/ Crime Sun, 10 Sep 2023 6:28:20 PM WBRZ Staff After 79-year-old man's murder, surveillance video played key role in his son's arrest

BATON ROUGE - Police have arrested a man suspected of killing his 79-year-old father inside their home over the weekend. 

The Baton Rouge Police Department said John Brown was found dead Saturday at his house on Leonidas Drive. He was shot twice, including a gunshot to the head. 

On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of the victim's 30-year-old son, Douglas Brown. Police said Douglas was living with his father at the time and the killing was likely motivated by money. 

"Mr. Brown was a good father to that boy," said Patricia Lee, a longtime neighbor of John Brown.

Arrest documents said that a surveillance camera under the carport showed Douglas entering the home with his hand hidden inside a bag on the night of the shooting. He was then seen leaving again a short time later and then returning with an item — believed to be a gun — concealed under fabric. 

After he re-entered the house, two shots are heard and the suspect is then seen hastily fleeing the home. 

Court records say that Douglas Brown was previously arrested for attempted second-degree murder in 2021. The victim told police that Douglas Brown came into the room they were in, pulled out a handgun and started "firing shots without provocation." The victim was shot five times. 

The attempted murder charge was lessened to second-degree battery in Oct. 2022 and Douglas Brown pleaded guilty. Judge Louis R. Daniel suspended the prison sentence of 10 years and gave him three years on probation. 

WBRZ spoke with John Brown's daughter on Monday. She said the news of her father's death shocked the family.

"I have no idea who would want to hurt him," Stephanie Brown James said.  

John Brown was a student at Southern University and was set to earn his master's degree in December. He leaves behind a large family, including more than 30 grandchildren, according to his daughter.

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BRPD: Men accused of raping unconscious teens after buying them drinks; assault was caught on video https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-men-accused-of-raping-unconscious-teens-after-buying-them-drinks-assault-was-caught-on-video/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-men-accused-of-raping-unconscious-teens-after-buying-them-drinks-assault-was-caught-on-video/ Crime Mon, 11 Sep 2023 5:25:41 PM WBRZ Staff BRPD: Men accused of raping unconscious teens after buying them drinks; assault was caught on video

BATON ROUGE - Two men, including a now-fired middle school football coach, are suspected of illegally giving drinks to a pair of underage women and then raping those same women in a parking lot after they blacked out. 

The Baton Rouge Police Department arrested 24-year-old Donald Johnson on Sunday for third-degree rape and two counts for unlawfully buying drinks for the women, ages 18 and 19. A second suspect, Kharee Lockley, was booked Monday on those same charges plus an additional count of video voyeurism for allegedly recording the assault. 

According to a warrant, a woman who was supposed to give the victims a ride said they were nowhere to be found when she went to meet them around 2 a.m., prompting her to track their location. She then traced one of their phones to a fast food restaurant on Florida Boulevard, where she saw the victims in a car with two men she did not recognize. 

She then followed the vehicle to a gas station on Airline Highway and called police, who soon confronted the men in the parking lot. In their report, officers noted that the women in the car were unconscious and partially naked. They also noticed several open alcohol containers and used condoms throughout the car.

Police questioned Johnson and Lockley, both of whom admitted to buying the women drinks and then having sex with them. One of them said it happened in a shopping center parking lot along Florida Boulevard. 

Lockley admitted to taking video of the assault on his phone, according to BRPD documents. Officers obtained a search warrant for the the device and reviewed the video, which police said showed him having sex with one victim by "maneuvering her limp body." Police said the video also showed the woman was "unable to to maintain her balance of consciousness." 

Both of the women were interviewed at a hospital and said they remember drinking with the suspects but had no memory of having sex with them. 

Lockley's social media accounts describe him as a football coach at Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet School in Alexandria. A Rapides Parish school spokesperson told WBRZ on Tuesday that Lockley is no longer employed by the school system but refused to comment on the situation further. 

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EBR teacher arrested for sex crimes; text messages depict lewd meet-ups on high school campus https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-teacher-arrested-for-sex-crimes-text-messages-depict-lewd-meet-ups-on-high-school-campus/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-teacher-arrested-for-sex-crimes-text-messages-depict-lewd-meet-ups-on-high-school-campus/ Crime Tue, 12 Sep 2023 9:03:11 AM WBRZ Staff EBR teacher arrested for sex crimes; text messages depict lewd meet-ups on high school campus

BATON ROUGE - A substitute teacher had his contract with the EBR school system terminated amid an investigation into an inappropriate relationship he allegedly had with a 15-year-old student.

Damien Clark, 24, was in a "position of supervision" over the victim, according to documents from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office. The victim's guardian told deputies the victim had an "intimate relationship" with Clark, and that text messages between them contained several instances of indecent behavior and inappropriate language alluding to the relationship. 

The messages, which began on Aug. 31, described at least one instance Clark and the victim had sex and at least one instance the victim performed oral sex on him. 

Arrest documents said the incidents occurred at 15755 Jefferson Highway, the address of Woodlawn High School. 

Clark was arrested for one count of molestation of a juvenile and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles. 

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System issued the following statement following Clark's arrest:

A contracted assistant football coach/substitute teacher at Woodlawn High School was terminated on September 9, 2023, following his arrest for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor student.

EBRPSS leaders learned of the allegation last weekend, and district administrators immediately informed the student’s parents and engaged law enforcement to begin an investigation into the matter. Additionally, EBRPSS Human Resources leaders made an official report to the Department of Children & Families.

Considering the statements provided and evidence obtained by detectives and subsequent arrest, district OHR leaders have recommended this employee’s termination, effective immediately, and he has not been allowed back on any school property. Superintendent Narcisse has approved the termination. This person was not a district employee and is now ineligible for any future employment opportunities with EBRPSS.

Please reach out to EBRSO for any information regarding the criminal investigation. Thank you.

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Man arrested after allegedly raping LSU student in her dorm room https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-after-allegedly-raping-lsu-student-in-her-dorm-room/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-after-allegedly-raping-lsu-student-in-her-dorm-room/ Crime Tue, 12 Sep 2023 7:00:48 AM Sarah Lawrence Man arrested after allegedly raping LSU student in her dorm room

BATON ROUGE - Police arrested a man Monday after he allegedly raped an LSU student in her dorm room. 

The LSU Police Department said it arrested Vishal Bhardwaj, 26, on Monday. Bhardwaj and the student had been in her dorm room on Saturday night when they began talking about things related to sex, but she told him she did not want to have sex. 

Arrest documents say Bhardwaj physically moved her and put her in a position to have sex with her. The woman reportedly told him to stop multiple times. 

When the victim and police spoke with Bhardwaj on Monday, he told officers that he had done it because he thought the victim liked it. 

Bhardwaj was arrested Monday on one count of third-degree rape.

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Soldier arrested, accused of shooting at family in their car after road rage encounter in Baton Rouge https://www.wbrz.com/news/soldier-arrested-accused-of-shooting-at-family-in-their-car-after-road-rage-encounter-in-baton-rouge/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/soldier-arrested-accused-of-shooting-at-family-in-their-car-after-road-rage-encounter-in-baton-rouge/ Crime Mon, 11 Sep 2023 3:13:30 PM WBRZ Staff Soldier arrested, accused of shooting at family in their car after road rage encounter in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE - A member of the United States military was arrested Sunday after he confessed to shooting at a woman and her two children following a road rage incident on Siegen Lane.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff's detectives used good old fashioned police work to make the arrest.

"Detectives were diligent in tracking down the vehicle, plate number and scouring the area for video surveillance," EBRSO Spokeswoman Casey Hicks said.

Arrest documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit on Monday show Ryan Gooden, 26, was arrested over the weekend for his role in the Aug. 20 encounter. 

Last month, the victim told Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto that she was driving on Siegen with her two kids, ages 3 and 7, when she had a run-in with two men in a black sedan. She said the vehicle followed her to the Siegen Marketplace shopping center, and a man in a military uniform shot at her car from the driver's side of the sedan, striking her passenger side door. 

"I'm very grateful," Ashley Mitchell said. "I'm grateful my kids and I are ok. I know it's going to take me a while to mentally get over this. I'm mentally still processing this all."

East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies later used surveillance video from the area to identify the vehicle and its owner, Gooden.

When questioned by investigators, Gooden admitted he exchanged words with another driver on Siegen Lane before grabbing a .40 Glock handgun and firing a shot at the vehicle. Gooden added that he disposed of the weapon after the shooting. 

Gooden was booked on three counts of attempted first degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property and obstruction of justice. 

Arrest documents also note that Gooden is an active member of the United States Armed Forces, which was consistent with the victim's description of the shooter. 

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Woman caught with more than 100 pieces of stolen mail after string of thefts in St. Mary Parish https://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-caught-with-more-than-100-pieces-of-stolen-mail-after-string-of-thefts-in-st-mary-parish/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-caught-with-more-than-100-pieces-of-stolen-mail-after-string-of-thefts-in-st-mary-parish/ Crime Tue, 5 Sep 2023 12:44:56 PM WBRZ Staff Woman caught with more than 100 pieces of stolen mail after string of thefts in St. Mary Parish

CENTERVILLE - A woman suspected of riding around St. Mary Parish and digging through residents' mailboxes was caught with narcotics and more than 100 pieces of stolen mail.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Mavis Sue Pontiff, 49, was arrested over the weekend on 100 counts of theft and multiple drug-related charges.

After reviewing multiple videos showing a vehicle pulling up to mailboxes in the Centerville and Verdunville areas, investigators identified Pontiff as the owner and labeled her a suspect. 

While executing a search warrant, deputies recovered the missing mail and found illicit drugs and paraphernalia. She was booked into the St. Mary Parish jail, where she is being held on a $105,000 bond. 

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Pontiff is encouraged to contact investigators at (337)828-1960.

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Man sexually assaulted sleeping child during early-morning home invasion, EBR deputies say https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-sexually-assaulted-sleeping-child-during-early-morning-home-invasion-ebr-deputies-say/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-sexually-assaulted-sleeping-child-during-early-morning-home-invasion-ebr-deputies-say/ Crime Mon, 21 Aug 2023 5:00:57 PM WBRZ Staff Man sexually assaulted sleeping child during early-morning home invasion, EBR deputies say

BATON ROUGE - A man is accused of creeping into a family's bedroom and fondling a 7-year-old girl while she was sleeping next to her mother early Monday morning. 

According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, the assault happened around 1:20 a.m. at an apartment on Ned Avenue, in the Gardere area. 

The girl told investigators she was sleeping when the suspect, identified as 48-year-old Carlos Duartelanza, removed her pants and started grabbing her genitalia. The girl then woke her mom, who kicked the intruder in the face after realizing what was going on.

The woman then screamed for her husband, who struck the stranger with a lamp as he ran around the bedroom. He then briefly chased the intruder out of the apartment and into the street. 

A neighbor helped deputies locate Duartelanza about an hour later, and the family positively identified him as the man who appeared in their bedroom. 

Duartelanza admitted to going into the bedroom but denied removing the girl's clothes or touching her. He was booked Monday for home invasion and sexual battery.

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Jury finds Baton Rouge businessman guilty of murder in his wife's 2015 killing https://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-businessman-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-wife-s-2015-killing/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-businessman-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-wife-s-2015-killing/ Crime Tue, 15 Aug 2023 4:16:44 PM Bess Casserleigh Jury finds Baton Rouge businessman guilty of murder in his wife's 2015 killing

UPDATE: Hamid Ghassemi was sentenced to life in prison in September. Read more details here.

BATON ROUGE - On Tuesday, jurors found a Baton Rouge businessman guilty of first-degree murder, eight years after he hired three men to kill his ex-wife so he wouldn't have to pay her a $1 million judgment.

The verdict came Tuesday evening, a little more than a week after the trial kicked off following years of delays. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19, 2023. His conviction carries an automatic life sentence. 

“This case has been delayed so many times because of all kinds of different reasons, but a lot on the defendant's part. The judge was steady throughout, he granted his continuances when he needed to and it was something that we disagreed with, but in the long run it was the right thing to do to make sure we had a proper verdict and that verdict stayed,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

One of the hitmen testified Monday that Hamid Ghassemi, 72, approached him in early 2015 and asked him to kill Teherah Ghassemi and the Ghassemi's son Hamed. Teherah Ghassemi was killed in April 2015 but Hamed Ghassemi was not harmed. The son testified against his father last week.

“It’s been a painful eight years and it’s done with now. I’m happy that he’s going to live the rest of his life knowing that he is finally busted for what he did. He’s been trying to get away with it, he’s been trying to blame it on me, he’s been trying everything that he can and it’s over with now,” Hamed Ghassemi said.

The state rested its case Tuesday and Ghassemi's attorney Bob Neal opted against calling any witnesses. In closing arguments, prosecutors reiterated points told by their witnesses: Ghassemi was angry with his ex-wife and didn't want to pay her $1 million. Neal suggested that Hamed Ghassemi killed his mother so he would inherit the money.

Hamed Ghassemi, 45, had lived with his mother for about 10 years as a grown man and told jurors last week that his mother had wanted him to live in "a strict Iranian way." Neal said Hamed Ghassemi "had more than a million motives" to kill his mother.

The night before Teherah Ghassemi died, her son had sent her a text in Farsi that Neal translated to "Leave me alone you f------ b----." Prosecutors said the correct translation was, "Leave me the f--- alone. I'm moving."

Neal also attacked the credibility of the state's main witness, hitman Daniel Richter. He called Richter a convicted rapist and con man who snitched to win favorable treatment. He also noted that Richter dug only one grave but said Hamid Ghassemi had said he wanted his ex-wife and his son killed.

According to the state, Hamid Ghassemi paid $10,000 to have the men abduct and kill his wife, whose body was found in a shallow grave in St. Helena Parish. Richter said he buried her alone after Hamid Ghassemi had requested that he make it impossible for anyone to find her body. The other two involved, Richter said, stopped taking his calls after they were paid.

Teherah Ghassemi, 54, was killed in April 2015 because she was scheduled to return to her native Iran and Hamid Ghassemi feared he wouldn't see his money again, Richter testified.

Richter, Skyler Williams and Tyler Ashpaugh each pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Ashpaugh received a 40-year term after acknowledging in 2018 that he shot Ms. Ghassemi. He died in prison this year.

Hamid Ghassemi owned used car lots in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. He faces a life term if convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

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