WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Crime Crime en-us Copyright 2020, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 7 Jul 2020 HH:07:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Man allegedly robbed victim outside of Q Mart store https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-robbed-victim-outside-of-q-mart-store/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-robbed-victim-outside-of-q-mart-store/ Crime Tue, 7 Jul 2020 9:35:11 AM WBRZ Staff Man allegedly robbed victim outside of Q Mart store

BATON ROUGE - Investigators with the Baton Rouge Police Department report catching up with and arresting a man accused in a June 15th robbery outside of a Q Mart store on North Foster Drive.

Police say a victim told them he'd just exited Q Mart when a woman walked up to him and began talking to him.

When he paused to reply, the victim told authorities, a man approached him from behind and placed what felt like a gun at his back, telling him to 'give him everything.'

An official police report says the victim handed over his wallet and the couple fled into their waiting vehicle with the victim's $840.

Police say they were able to track down the vehicle by its license plate number and discover it belonged to 50-year-old James Bell who was staying at a room in the Alamo Hotel on Florida Boulevard.

Police report finding Bell at the Alamo, which is where he was questioned and arrested. 

When asked about his whereabouts, Bell denied the robbery and said he hadn't even left his room all day, except for a brief visit to a nearby Burger King. 

Police say they could not find evidence of Bell having a gun and took this to mean he'd faked pulling a gun on the victim.

After the victim identified Bell as the man who'd robbed him, Bell was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one  count of first-degree robbery.  

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Man apprehended with runaway juvenile; charged with rape, human trafficking https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-apprehended-with-runaway-juvenile-charged-with-rape-human-trafficking/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-apprehended-with-runaway-juvenile-charged-with-rape-human-trafficking/ Crime Tue, 7 Jul 2020 8:47:57 AM WBRZ Staff Man apprehended with runaway juvenile; charged with rape, human trafficking

BATON ROUGE - Investigators with the Baton Rouge Police Department followed up on the whereabouts of a runaway juvenile out of Jefferson Parish and discovered the girl appeared to have been the victim of human trafficking at the hands of an alleged rapist.

According to a police document, on June 16, an officer with BRPD was dispatched to Homewood Suites on Corporate Boulevard where he discovered 37-year-old Emilio Joaquin Zavala Paguada and a young girl who told officers she'd been attacked.

Police say the youth spoke fluent Spanish but not English and used an interpreter to explain that Paguada told her he'd give her a cell phone if she accompanied him to Baton Rouge, so she went with him.

But, she went on to say, once they got to Baton Rouge, Paguada tried to have sex with her and when she refused he threatened that certain drug-dealing members of his family would hurt either her or her family.

The girl told police after Paguada raped her, she pretended to take a shower but secretly called her mother.

Paguada was arrested on charges of second-degree rape and human trafficking.

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Wanted suspect turns himself in to West BR authorities following fatal double-shooting https://www.wbrz.com/news/wanted-suspect-turns-himself-in-to-west-br-authorities-following-fatal-double-shooting/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/wanted-suspect-turns-himself-in-to-west-br-authorities-following-fatal-double-shooting/ Crime Sun, 5 Jul 2020 1:27:07 PM Trey Schmaltz Wanted suspect turns himself in to West BR authorities following fatal double-shooting

PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office announced Monday that Christopher Pierson, who was wanted in connection with first-degree murder, has voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

The Sheriff's Office says Pierson is being booked into West Baton Rouge Parish Detention Center and no bond has been set.

He was accused in the murder of 31-year-old Kequaniel Green as well as the attempted first-degree murder of 31-year-old Nakeidra Williams on Sunday. 

The shootings occurred within the 1700 block of Rev. Manuel Street shortly after noon. 

WBRSO says Williams remains in serious but stable condition.

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Man accused of firing deputy's gun in Walmart assisted by two women in flight from authorities https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-firing-deputy-s-gun-in-walmart-assisted-by-two-women-in-flight-from-authorities/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-firing-deputy-s-gun-in-walmart-assisted-by-two-women-in-flight-from-authorities/ Crime Fri, 3 Jul 2020 11:16:04 AM WBRZ staff Man accused of firing deputy's gun in Walmart assisted by two women in flight from authorities

BATON ROUGE - Investigators with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office say after 31-year-old Gabriel N. Francis was caught shoplifting at the Cortana Walmart in Baton Rouge and got into a fight with the deputy who attempted to detain him, he grabbed the deputy's weapon and discharged it.

Investigators say from that point on, Francis managed to evade arrest with the help of two women. 

As WBRZ previously reported, after fleeing the Walmart on June 15th, deputies say Francis jumped into the waiting car of  35-year-old Joycie Abraham who drove him away from the scene of the crime and helped him dodge police for a time. 

As of Friday (July 3), new information regarding the case reveals that after being driven to Lafayette, Francis allegedly met up with 36-year-old Katressa Johnson, who deputies identify as the mother of at least one of his children, and she helped him escape to Indianapolis, Indiana.

In an official document from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, investigators say one of Johnson's family members saw her with a man they didn't immediately recognize and then after noticing Francis' picture on a television newscast, realized Johnson was with a fugitive who was on the run.

Investigators say the family member immediately called their local authorities and it was shortly thereafter confirmed that the two fled out of state together.

Francis was captured in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 17 with the help of Louisiana State Police and the U.S Marshal Service.

Johnson was arrested and charged as an accessory after the fact to theft, attempted murder, battery of a police officer, disarming of a police officer, and felon in possession of a firearm. 

At this time she remains in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. 

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3 Baton Rouge protesters accused of causing $800K in damage handed federal indictments https://www.wbrz.com/news/3-baton-rouge-protesters-accused-of-causing-800k-in-damage-handed-federal-indictments/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/3-baton-rouge-protesters-accused-of-causing-800k-in-damage-handed-federal-indictments/ Crime Thu, 2 Jul 2020 1:43:46 PM Jeremy Krail 3 Baton Rouge protesters accused of causing $800K in damage handed federal indictments

BATON ROUGE - Three people accused of setting a handful of Baton Rouge-area businesses on fire as part of a political statement amidst the George Floyd protests earlier this year were formally charged in federal court.

Court documents reveal Terry Dorsey, Kenyatta Huggins and Shamyrin Djhodi Johnson were all indicted on arson charges related to the fires set at four different businesses. The crimes were committed throughout the area over the course of a few days beginning in late May.

The total cost of the damage accrued in the arson spree was said to be around $800,000.

Investigators said surveillance cameras spotted the trio in the same vehicle at all four locations. Dorsey was identified through the footage and in-part due to his past run-ins with law enforcement. His arrest led police to the other suspects.

All three allegedly attended protests on Siegen Lane before setting the fires.

In a previous court hearing, Johnson said the group was influenced by local rappers on Instagram encouraging Baton Rouge residents to cause damage.

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Police: NOLA-based company stole children's identities to purchase big-ticket items https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-nola-based-company-stole-children-s-identities-to-purchase-big-ticket-items/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-nola-based-company-stole-children-s-identities-to-purchase-big-ticket-items/ Crime Thu, 2 Jul 2020 7:10:49 AM Paula Jones Police: NOLA-based company stole children's identities to purchase big-ticket items

NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans-based business is accused of leading an identity theft scam that involved using the stolen identities of more than 100 children to purchase luxury cars and other items. 

According to The Advocate, 20 people have been arrested in connection with the complex scheme.

Investigators say Fresh Start Financial Group of New Orleans was operating the scheme; the company's directors, 31-year-old Charles Roy and 32-year-old Tanya Ward, worked with Fresh Start's clients to carry out the scam. 

Trooper Monroe Dillon, a spokesman for State Police, says the group stole the identities of 121 children from across the country, using them to create fake identities. 

Apparently, a separate group linked to Fresh Start Financial used stolen or unassigned social security numbers to create fake identities, according to authorities.

Then, someone would use make the phony identity seem real by assigning it with the address of a local house for sale and then creating fake payroll stubs and utility bills. These fake documents were then used to apply for credit from different banks and stores, which would officially establishing the bogus identity’s credit history, Dillon said.

The group paid third parties to add the fake identity as an authorized user on credit card accounts, further boosting the credit rating. Once that fake identity had a respectable credit score, the group sold it a willing customer of Fresh Start Financial, authorities said.

During the course of the lengthy investigation, agents executed 60 search warrants for electronic devices, email accounts, business records, cell phone records and credit reports. They also served warrants at several locations in April 2019, seizing seven stolen vehicles, three all-terrain vehicles, three guns, various types of drugs, $2,000 cash and multiple counterfeit state identification cards, authorities said.

The suspects in the case are facing charges in various jurisdictions, according to Dillon. Those arrested include:

-Tanya Ward, booked in Jefferson and St. Tammany Parishes on multiple counts ranging from identity fraud to bank fraud to drug possession.

-Chares Roy, booked in Jefferson and St. Charles parishes on multiple counts ranging from bank fraud and identity theft to motor vehicle theft.

-Erin Alonzo, 23, booked with being a fugitive from Orleans Parish where he has been indicted with second-degree murder. An Orleans Parish grand jury charged Alonzo in the death of Terrance Jackson, 22, who was gunned down during an armed robbery in New Orleans on Thanksgiving Day 2016, authorities said. Alonzo was linked to the scene through DNA and cell phone data, according to investigators.

-Joshua Blaise, 28, booked in St. Tammany Parish with identity theft.

-Jermaine Toussaint, 26, booked in Orleans and Jefferson parishes on multiple counts ranging from motor vehicle theft to bank fraud and identity theft. 

-Carldell Marshall, 24, booked in Jefferson Parish with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and a fugitive warrant.

-Chole Singleton, 30, booked in Jefferson Parish on multiple counts incluidng identity theft and bank fraud.

-Shaquille Florant, 24, booked in Jefferson Parish with on multiple including identity theft and bank fraud.

-Torron Wilson, 42, booked in Jefferson Parish on multiple counts including principal to identity theft and pincipal to bank fraud.

-Terrell Perkins, 34, booked in Orleans and Jefferson parishes on multiple counts including identity theft, bank fraud and being a convicted felon with a firearm.

-Kimberly Gentry, 38, booked in Orleans Parish with theft of a motor vehicle and unlawful production, manufacturing and distribution of fraudulent documents.

-Dsean Young, 36, booked in Orleans Parish with multiple counts including bank fraud and identity theft.

-Kendra Walker, 36, arrested as a fugitive from Jefferson Parish and Pear River.

-Jasmine Ceaser, 24, booked on multiple counts including identity theft and bank fraud.

-Elmira Fobbs, 25, booked in Jefferson Parish with unlawful production, manufacturing or distribution of fraudulent documents.

-Shanequa Henry, 29, booked in Jefferson Parish with unlawful production, manufacturing or distribution of fraudulent documents.

-Johnnisha Matthews, 26, booked in Orleans Parish with two counts of identity theft, computer fraud and unlawful production, manufacturing or distribution of fraudulent documents.

-Pauline Peters, 26, booked in Orleans Parish with identity theft and computer fraud.

-Ladell Eurings, 44, booked in Orleans Parish with three counts of identity theft and three counts of theft.

-Daijonia Hopson, 31, booked with computer fraud and identity theft.

Authorities are still searching for two people in connection with the case:

-Raymoniqua Johnson, 25, wanted on a count of identity theft in Orleans Parish.

-Courtney Griffith, 32, wanted on charges of computer fraud, identity theft and bank fraud in St. Bernard Parish.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Johnson or Griffith is asked to call local law enforcement.

The Louisiana State Police’s Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit investigated the case with help from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit, Homeland Security Investigations’ New Orleans Field Office and Office of the Inspector General.

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Slidell woman pleads guilty to abusing dog with missing legs https://www.wbrz.com/news/slidell-woman-pleads-guilty-to-abusing-dog-with-missing-legs/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/slidell-woman-pleads-guilty-to-abusing-dog-with-missing-legs/ Crime Wed, 1 Jul 2020 7:07:03 AM Associated Press Slidell woman pleads guilty to abusing dog with missing legs

COVINGTON, La. (AP) — A Louisiana woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to abusing a mixed Dachshund-Chihuahua named Buddy.

Lynette Victor, of Slidell, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals and was sentenced to seven years in prison, which was suspended, according to a press release from District Attorney Warren Montgomery.

Victor, 51, was also sentenced to three years probation, a $5,000 fine and restitution for veterinary expenses.

Victor was arrested in September after Buddy was found abandoned in a trailer park, missing two hind legs. Buddy was also severely malnourished and had internal parasites.

Victor told authorities that the dog was shot by an unknown person in February but she couldn’t afford recommended veterinary treatment.

Victor admitted that since the dog belonged to her teenage daughter, she put the dog’s care in her daughter’s hand. The daughter later claimed that she must have bandaged the dog’s legs too tightly, causing them to fall off.

Buddy has since recovered and uses a canine wheelchair. The dog is with a new family.

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Inmate deemed 'flight risk' busted in Monday evening jailbreak attempt https://www.wbrz.com/news/inmate-deemed-flight-risk-busted-in-monday-evening-jailbreak-attempt/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/inmate-deemed-flight-risk-busted-in-monday-evening-jailbreak-attempt/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 3:44:41 PM WBRZ Staff Inmate deemed 'flight risk' busted in Monday evening jailbreak attempt

ST. GABRIEL - An inmate deemed a "flight risk" and ordered housed at a state prison while awaiting trial attempted to escape from the lockup facility in Iberville Parish.

The state released details of the escape attempted Tuesday, a day after the incident.

Aaron Dun, 32, scaled an inner fence at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center around 7 p.m. Monday, agents reported.  Officers captured Dun after he got caught in the razor wire of the fencing surrounding his prison cell block, the state prison system said. 

Dun is facing charges in St. John the Baptist Parish for home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, and armed robbery. He is also a registered sex offender in Alabama, where he is wanted for several additional charges.

Typically, inmates awaiting trial would not be housed by the state, but the Department of Corrections was detaining Dun at the request of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff because he is a flight risk. Dun has been at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center since May 18, 2020.

Attempted escape charges are pending.

Dun attempted to flee from authorities in New Orleans in two, previous high-profile pursuits earlier this year.  

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Former Southern band director intends to take federal plea deal tied to Nakamoto investigative reports https://www.wbrz.com/news/former-southern-band-director-intends-to-take-federal-plea-deal-tied-to-nakamoto-investigative-reports/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/former-southern-band-director-intends-to-take-federal-plea-deal-tied-to-nakamoto-investigative-reports/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 2:53:16 PM Chris Nakamoto Former Southern band director intends to take federal plea deal tied to Nakamoto investigative reports

BATON ROUGE- During his first initial appearance in federal court, Nathan Haymer revealed he intends to accept a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that will result in him pleading guilty to a federal charge.

Haymer entered a not guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Richard Bourgeois Tuesday as a formality. Once the plea agreement is finalized, another hearing will be scheduled before Judge Brian Jackson where Haymer will change his plea to guilty, according to what was discussed in the hearing.

Haymer was exposed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit two years ago after money turned up missing under his watch. An audit conducted by Southern University revealed nearly $300,000 was unaccounted for.

However, when federal prosecutors charged Haymer two weeks ago, he was charged with federal program theft for embezzling $30,000 in money. Prosecutors said the scheme involved fraudulent invoices that Haymer submitted to the school and received reimbursements for.

In 2018, Haymer told us, "I'm an honest person. I have integrity. Southern pays me well enough and there's no need for me to get kickbacks."

The court proceeding was held over ZOOM Tuesday. Haymer was ordered to surrender his passport. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the federal charge.

One of Haymer's attorneys, Karl Bernard, told WBRZ it could take up to ten days to have everything finalized.

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Police identify man found shot to death on Scenic Highway https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-identify-man-found-shot-to-death-on-scenic-highway/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-identify-man-found-shot-to-death-on-scenic-highway/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 12:05:09 PM WBRZ Staff Police identify man found shot to death on Scenic Highway

BATON ROUGE - Authorities are investigating reports of a deadly shooting on Scenic Highway Tuesday.

The coroner's office was called to Scenic Highway between Airline Highway and Mengel Road just before noon. The Baton Rouge Police Department is also responding to the area.

Police identified the victim as Stafford Williams, 48, of Baton Rouge. Williams was found shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

Photos from the scene showed police setting up a crime scene around the Triple B tire shop.

No other details about the shooting are available at this time.

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Louisiana firefighter accused of trying to smuggle 150 pounds of marijuana into US https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-firefighter-accused-of-trying-to-smuggle-150-pounds-of-marijuana-into-us/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-firefighter-accused-of-trying-to-smuggle-150-pounds-of-marijuana-into-us/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 8:44:29 AM WBRZ Staff Louisiana firefighter accused of trying to smuggle 150 pounds of marijuana into US

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH - A firefighter has been accused of trying to sneak over 150 pounds of marijuana back into the country from Mexico.

According to The Advocate, St. John the Baptist Parish firefighter, Michael Moscona faces one count of drug possession and the intention to distribute 70.7 kilos of marijuana. A parish government spokeswoman said Monday that Moscona is on paid leave pending an internal disciplinary investigation.

A criminal complaint filed against Moscona alleges that Border Patrol agents stopped him at an immigration checkpoint north of McAllen, Texas, at about 6:35 a.m. on June 17. Moscona claimed he was on vacation with his family but was headed back home alone in a rental truck because the firefighting crew on which he worked was short-handed, the complaint said.

The complaint alleged that Moscona appeared to grow nervous as agents questioned him, including asking about a new toolbox in the bed of the truck. Moscona said he didn’t have the key to the toolbox, but agents forced it open after a drug-sniffing dog showed an interest in it, the complaint said.

Agents said they found 18 bundles of marijuana — roughly worth $150,000 — wrapped in black plastic. Moscona allegedly waived his right to remain silent and confessed that he was delivering marijuana from the Rio Grande Valley area to the Tangipahoa Parish community of Ponchatoula. According to the complaint, Moscona had made several such runs in previous months.

The agents arrested Moscona and confiscated a handgun in a bag on the front passenger seat.

A federal magistrate in Corpus Christi, Texas, on June 24 allowed Moscona to be released from jail on a $75,000 signature bond and to travel home. He could face prison time if he is eventually convicted as accused.

Moscona is a 15-year veteran of St. John’s Fire Department. He’s been a member of a team that has won a statewide firefighting drills competition multiple times.

Attempts to contact Moscona’s attorney on Monday were unsuccessful. Earlier, he told WWL-TV, who first reported on Moscona’s case, that he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t seen any evidence yet.

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Police: Woman donned wigs, face shield before using BB gun to rob guests at L'auberge https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-woman-donned-wigs-face-shield-before-using-bb-gun-to-rob-guests-at-l-auberge/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-woman-donned-wigs-face-shield-before-using-bb-gun-to-rob-guests-at-l-auberge/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 8:05:02 AM WBRZ Staff Police: Woman donned wigs, face shield before using BB gun to rob guests at L'auberge

BATON ROUGE - In June, Baton Rouge Police and members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office assisted in two cases involving an armed robber in L'auberge casino's parking garage.

In each case, female victims were approached by someone in a wig and protective face shield who demanded money at gunpoint.

Authorities with the EBR Sheriff's Office say they were able to comb through video surveillance of the parking garage and identify the robber as 32-year-old Cori Leger.

Investigators say the tape showed Leger slowly drive around the garage in a gray SUV that had no license plate.

Authorities go on to describe watching Leger act in a similar way on two separate occasions; she put on a wig, parked, wandered the garage on foot, and then attempted to rob two women at gunpoint.

According to an affidavit, a robbery attempt on June 23 was successful, but during a second robbery attempt on June 25, the victim began to scream, which sent her attacker running.

Investigators say they apprehended Leger in L'auberge's parking garage on Monday (June 29) while she was in the same SUV she'd used during the attempted robberies.

Deputies report that when questioning her, she initially denied any involvement in the robberies.

However, authorities say when they showed her what was captured on surveillance video, Leger admitted that she was the person in the wig.

Investigators say when they searched Leger's vehicle and personal belongings they discovered the gun she'd been using was a realistic BB gun and that she was also in possession of Mace, a stun gun, a black wig, and an orange wig.

Leger was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery.

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Ronnie Kato, accused of two murders, seeks probable cause hearing https://www.wbrz.com/news/ronnie-kato-accused-of-two-murders-seeks-probable-cause-hearing/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ronnie-kato-accused-of-two-murders-seeks-probable-cause-hearing/ Crime Tue, 30 Jun 2020 7:05:57 AM WBRZ Staff Ronnie Kato, accused of two murders, seeks probable cause hearing

BATON ROUGE - Ronnie Kato, the 36-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend's step-father, Curtis Richardson, before shooting and killing Baton Rouge Police Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. and then wounding Cpl. Derrick Maglone, qualifies for a prompt probable cause hearing, a lawyer with the Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans is arguing for the second time.

Kato has been behind bars since the fatal April 26 shootings and is being held without bail. 

He has not been indicted, but East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said his office intends to seek the death penalty.

"Mr. Kato has a constitutional and statutory right to a prompt preliminary examination," Joshua Schwartz, a staff attorney with the Capital Appeals Project, argues in a motion filed last week in Baton Rouge state court.

It is the second time Schwartz has filed a motion for a preliminary exam. The first motion was filed in late April.

Probable cause is determined at a preliminary examination during which the defense can subpoena and cross-examine witnesses.

Schwartz filed another motion in April to enroll in the case for the limited purpose of protecting Kato's rights, but Moore said Monday that no judge in the 19th Judicial District Court has indicated that Schwartz may enroll for only a limited role.

"It is our belief that no one with recognized authority to represent the defendant in this case has requested a preliminary hearing and therefore no such request is legally before the court," the district attorney said.

Schwartz points out that the state constitution says the right to a preliminary exam "shall not be denied in felony cases except when the accused is indicted by a grand jury."

A grand jury has not yet taken up Kato's case.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic shut down the East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury until June 10, when it met for the first time since March 12.

"Mr. Kato has the right to a prompt preliminary examination. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should not result in further delay," Schwartz argues. "While the pandemic has caused temporary Court closures, the Louisiana Supreme Court has expressly approved of hearings conducted via video conferencing to protect the health and safety of all involved."

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Police officer arrested in St. Helena Parish for alleged sexual battery of a child https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-officer-arrested-in-st-helena-parish-for-alleged-sexual-battery-of-a-child/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-officer-arrested-in-st-helena-parish-for-alleged-sexual-battery-of-a-child/ Crime Mon, 29 Jun 2020 6:27:51 PM WBRZ Staff Police officer arrested in St. Helena Parish for alleged sexual battery of a child

GREENSBURG - A police officer working in small town in St. Helena Parish was arrested Monday over allegations of sexual abuse involving a juvenile.

According to Louisiana State Police, 20-year-old Cauy Christopher Phillips of Amite was arrested for allegedly having inappropriate contact with the juvenile victim. Phillips is an officer with the Greensburg Police Department, according to LSP.

Police said an investigation into the allegations started back in May 2020. 

Phillips was booked into the St. Helena Parish Jail on three counts of sexual battery and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

State police have not released further details about the investigation.

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Officials identify victims of fatal double-shooting on Avenue E https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-identify-victims-of-fatal-double-shooting-on-avenue-e/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-identify-victims-of-fatal-double-shooting-on-avenue-e/ Crime Mon, 29 Jun 2020 5:05:33 AM WBRZ Staff Officials identify victims of fatal double-shooting on Avenue E

BATON ROUGE - Early Monday morning, officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department were dispatched to a residential area near Blount Road in response to a reported shooting where two men were found dead.

Police say at about 1:50 a.m., they arrived within the 10100 block of Avenue E where the two deceased men were found in a vehicle.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office identified the victims as 26-year-old Jeremy Sincere, and 40-year-old Burnell Williams. Officials say both individuals were killed by gunshot wounds. 

Police have launched an investigation into the double-homicide and urge anyone with information pertinent to the case to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867. 

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Gonzales woman arrested in crash that killed 11-year-old on Scenic Highway Tuesday morning https://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-woman-arrested-in-crash-that-killed-11-year-old-on-scenic-highway-tuesday-morning/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-woman-arrested-in-crash-that-killed-11-year-old-on-scenic-highway-tuesday-morning/ Crime Tue, 23 Jun 2020 8:28:01 AM WBRZ Staff Gonzales woman arrested in crash that killed 11-year-old on Scenic Highway Tuesday morning

BATON ROUGE- A woman is being charged with the death of a boy who died in a crash on Scenic Highway Tuesday.

The crash was reported around 7:30 a.m. on Scenic Highway near Rafe Mayer Road. State police announced Tuesday evening that 27-year-old Treasure Charles of Gonzales was arrested for the crash. 

Investigators say Charles was driving a box truck on the highway and struck a disabled vehicle in the southbound lane. Police say 11-year-old Wayne Ford of Baton Rouge was in the rear passenger seat of the stalled vehicle and died in the collision.

Neither Ford nor the driver of the vehicle were wearing a seat belt at the time. Both Charles and the other driver were rushed to a hospital after the collision.

Impairment is not a suspected factor, but the crash remains under investigation.

Charles was booked into jail on charges of negligent homicide, negligent injuring and careless operation.

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Arrest: Woman accused of scamming her own grandmother out of $23,790 https://www.wbrz.com/news/arrest-woman-accused-of-scamming-her-own-grandmother-out-of-23-790/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/arrest-woman-accused-of-scamming-her-own-grandmother-out-of-23-790/ Crime Tue, 23 Jun 2020 7:27:39 AM WBRZ Staff Arrest: Woman accused of scamming her own grandmother out of $23,790

BATON ROUGE - According to deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, a woman and her teenage son used fraudulent means to obtain over $67,000 from the woman's 83-year-old grandmother.

Deputies report that 38-year-old Tifani Lococo allegedly asked her grandmother for thousands of dollars to cover her college tuition, and her grandmother handed the money over without realizing Lococo was no longer in college.

An affidavit notes that as deputies were speaking with Lococo's grandmother, they observed that she appeared to suffer from significant memory loss as she would often repeat herself during their conversation.

Authorities say Lococo scammed her grandmother out of $23,790 and her son, likewise, obtained $43,250 from Lococo's grandmother through fraudulent means.

Lococo was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of exploitation of persons with infirmities.

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Man arrested for alleged sexual assault of teen https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-for-alleged-sexual-assault-of-teen/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-arrested-for-alleged-sexual-assault-of-teen/ Crime Tue, 23 Jun 2020 6:49:24 AM WBRZ Staff Man arrested for alleged sexual assault of teen

BATON ROUGE - A 49-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old girl.

According to an affidavit completed by an official with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Kelly Griffin knocked on the door of the home of a family who knew him and a 13-year-old girl, who was also familiar with Griffin, answered and let him in.

In the report, Griffin is described as instructing her to participate in a series of sexual interactions. Shortly afterwards, the girl called her mother for help, and her mother contacted authorities.

When deputies spoke with the teen, she explained that Griffin was intoxicated during the incident and she was afraid of him.

Investigators say they apprehended Griffin and while questioning him, he admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the child. DNA evidence of the encounter also served as proof of the teen's account of the incident.

Griffin was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on several counts including indecent behavior with a juvenile and forcible sexual battery.    

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Opelousas police officer charged with beating Black teen remains on paid leave https://www.wbrz.com/news/opelousas-police-officer-charged-with-beating-black-teen-remains-on-paid-leave/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/opelousas-police-officer-charged-with-beating-black-teen-remains-on-paid-leave/ Crime Tue, 23 Jun 2020 5:47:47 AM WBRZ Staff Opelousas police officer charged with beating Black teen remains on paid leave

OPELOUSAS - An Opelousas Police Officer who turned himself in to authorities once accusations of brutality surfaced, is  allowed to keep his job for the immediate future, despite five pending felony charges related to his alleged assault of a Black teen. 

According to The Advocate, Opelousas Police Sgt. Tyron Andrepont, who has already been on paid-leave since mid-November, will remain on paid leave until a departmental investigation concludes, at which time the elected police chief, Martin McLendon will present the findings to City Council. The council must approve any decision to terminate Andrepont.

Mayor Julius Alsandor, speaking at an NAACP press briefing, said it would be “imprudent” of him to comment on the department's probe into the allegations against Andrepont, including its timeframe for completion, though he said he’s “pretty confident it won’t be long.”

“The council will have to take those recommendations under advisement and make a good, rational decision on the information that’s presented to them,” Alsandor said.

The St. Landry Parish chapter of the NAACP is calling for Andrepont's firing.

He'd been charged this month with five counts of felony malfeasance in connection with his handling of an October 2019 call to Opelousas General Health System’s south campus.

A probable cause affidavit said that after arriving at the hospital, Andrepont struck 18-year-old Jonah Coleman in the face at least once, causing his head “to snap backwards” and “put his right arm around Jonah’s neck in a choke hold,” among other acts of battery, the document said.

Coleman had been admitted to the hospital and was not being held or investigated for any suspicion of criminal activity, according to his attorney, Daryl Washington. It’s not clear why hospital staff called police in the first place, or what prompted Andrepont to use force.

Washington has previously said Andrepont “totally overacted” in using “inhumane force” against Coleman, who was not threatening anyone.

The incident was followed by six-month State Police investigation. If convicted on all malfeasance counts, Andrepont could face a maximum of 25 years in prison, if time is served consecutively, and would lose his P.O.S.T. law enforcement certification.

The NAACP chapter president, the Rev. Frank Ford, said on Monday that Andrepont must be fired immediately, given his record of unjustified force against Black residents.

“He has displayed these type of behaviors, negative behaviors against people of color, for more than 10 years.” “Who knows what he’s going to do next?” 

Ford was referring to an incident more than 10 years ago in which Andrepont was accused of beating an Opelousas minister, Elton Sam, because he believed Sam was stealing from a Goodwill store.

In fact, Sam’s house had burned down and the items in his possession had been donated to him. Not only did Andrepont administer force unnecessarily, he also failed to properly question Sam before jumping to conclusions.

That incident resulted in a lawsuit that remains active.

“He’s a liability to the police force, he’s a liability to the city in more ways than one,” Ford said.

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Daycare worker allegedly slammed child on naptime mat, injuring him https://www.wbrz.com/news/daycare-worker-allegedly-slammed-child-on-naptime-mat-injuring-him/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/daycare-worker-allegedly-slammed-child-on-naptime-mat-injuring-him/ Crime Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:45:46 AM WBRZ Staff Daycare worker allegedly slammed child on naptime mat, injuring him

BATON ROUGE - Police say a daycare worker is behind bars after video footage revealed that she'd abused one of the children in her care.

According to official police records, 51-year-old Palestine Banks was a worker at Kids Count daycare in Baton Rouge when she was accused of injuring a little boy who didn't want to go to sleep, by throwing him down on a naptime mat.

The boy's parents told investigators with the Baton Rouge Police Department the incident left their son with cuts and bruises on his mouth and lips as well as a torn frenulum.

Police say they went to the Rapides Street daycare where Banks worked and reviewed footage of the alleged May 27 incident.

According to investigators, the video surveillance corroborated the concerned parent's statement, showing Banks grab the child by his arms and legs before throwing him down on the mat, an abusive act that occurred twice in the video.

Police say the second time Banks threw the boy on the mat, he hit his head and started bleeding, so she wiped the blood away with a towel.    

Banks was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of cruelty to juveniles.

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