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Month: February 2016

Jury Finds Convicted Felon Guilty of Possessing Gun

Rushing Kelvin            COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury found Kelvin Rushing, 47, of Pearl River, guilty Thursday (Feb. 25) of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. With 10 prior felony convictions, Rushing is facing up to life in prison when he is sentenced March 24.

Rushing was arrested March 26, 2015, during an undercover drug operation by the Slidell Police Department at a Slidell motel. With information that Rushing was selling drugs from the motel room, officers entered and found Rushing standing near a crack pipe on a table. A woman who was staying in the room gave officers permission to search it, and seven grams of crack cocaine were found under a sofa cushion.

Rushing also had $380 on him, including $60 in marked money that had been used in an undercover purchase of crack cocaine. During a search of the vehicle that Rushing had been driving, officers also found $1,620 in cash and 39 nine-millimeter rounds in the glove compartment, as well as a loaded .38 handgun in a sock in the trunk.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation. Rushing was charged with possession of cocaine, but the jury deadlocked on that charge. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney William Macke. Rushing’s prior convictions include second degree kidnapping in 1991, aggravated battery in 1999, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in 1999, simple escape in 1993, possession of cocaine in 1999 and 2004, forgery in 1991, illegal possession of stolen things and two theft convictions in 1991. He has two additional cases that are still pending.

District Attorney’s Office Issues New Badges and I.D.s to Staff

 

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced Friday (Feb. 26) that he has issued new, individually-numbered badges and identification cards for his attorneys and investigators. All other badges are considered expired and invalid.

The numbered badges are designed to protect the public from potential misuse. The District Attorney’s office is keeping track of every badge and I.D. card issued and their status.

“When we came into office, we realized there was incomplete record-keeping for individuals who received badges and I.D.s,” Montgomery said. “We are addressing that.”

The new badges are oval in appearance, unlike the shield shape of the old badges. The new photo identification cards contain a picture of the person to whom the badge has been issued and a photo of the numbered badge. The I.D. cards expire annually and must be renewed.

Old badges and I.D. cards were collected from his staff members before issuing the new ones, but the public should be aware that if someone flashes a District Attorney’s badge that does not contain a number, it is invalid. Also, if a photo identification card does not have a photo of the numbered badge, it is expired.

Jury Convicts Man Who Led Police on High-Speed Chase in Covington

Marlone Brumfield
Marlone Brumfield

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury found Marlone Brumfield, 28, of Covington, guilty Thursday (Feb. 18) of aggravated obstruction of a highway and possession of cocaine. As a multiple offender, he faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced April 21 by District Judge William J. Burris.

Brumfield was arrested Aug. 26 last year, after leading police on a high-speed chase throughout Covington. The incident began about 9 p.m. when narcotics officers from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received a tip from a confidential informant. The officers set up a drug buy with Brumfield, who was known on the streets as “Wacko.” But once Brumfield arrived at the meeting place on Highway 21 in Covington, he grew suspicious of the cars in the parking lot and didn’t stop. He headed north on Highway 21, and when an officer used his police lights to try to stop him, Brumfield refused to pull over.

With officers in pursuit, Brumfield fled, turning southbound onto Highway 21 and onto I-12 eastbound, where he turned off his headlights and reached speeds in excess of 115 miles per hour. The pursuit continued onto Highway 190, where Brumfield sideswiped a church van, and then onto Boston Street in Covington, where Brumfield’s truck struck a handicap ramp. Brumfield tried to run but was caught by deputies. Detectives found a cigarette box containing cocaine in Brumfield’s underwear. The officers also discovered a plastic bag of marijuana, a crumpled receipt containing marijuana, a smoking device containing a liquid, as well as a baby bottle and a water bottle containing fake narcotics in Brumfield’s vehicle.

Brumfield’s trial began Tuesday, and the jury took just under an hour to return the guilty verdicts. Assistant District Attorney William Macke prosecuted the case, and he was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian.

Brumfield has other open cases, as well as prior felony convictions, including for aggravated battery in 2008, simple robbery in 2005 and various narcotics.

 

Jury Convicts Former Franklinton Town Clerk of Theft

Capriece Dawson
Capriece Dawson

FRANKLINTON—A Washington Parish jury found Capriece Dawson, 43, a former Franklinton town clerk, guilty of theft over $1,500 and malfeasance in office Thursday (Feb. 4) for stealing money that resulted in losses of more than $115,000 to the town. Dawson faces up to 10 years in prison on the theft charge and up to five years on the malfeasance charge when District Judge Richard Swartz sentences her March 3.

The jury deliberated about 1½ hours Thursday before returning the guilty verdicts. During the trial, which began Monday, jurors heard from another former clerk, Carmen Freeman, who pled guilty in August last year to theft over $1,500, malfeasance, conspiracy to commit theft, and other charges related to a similar scheme. Despite pleading guilty to conspiracy, Freeman, who was called by Dawson’s attorneys to testify, said she never saw Dawson steal any money. As part of her plea agreement, Freeman will spend three years in prison.

Customer complaints about irregular billing and payment accountability at Franklinton’s Water Department prompted the initial investigation by the town, which discovered problems and brought in state auditors. A state legislative audit in 2014 determined that Freeman and Dawson did not follow proper billing procedures and misappropriated thousands of dollars. Both women initially admitted to auditors that they “borrowed” from customer utility collections for their own personal gain. But Dawson recanted that admission during the trial.

The Louisiana State Police also conducted an investigation. The town clerk examined records back to 2011 and found that the two employees would send duplicate bills to cash-paying customers and re-collect from the same customers. The women also altered bills to charge customers more than was actually owed, and they presumably pocketed the rest. Prosecutors had to prove only that Dawson stole more than $1,500, but they argued that losses to the town were greater than $115,000.

 

Washington Parish Jury Convicts Man Who Sparked Massive 2011 Manhunt

 

Kaunda Magee
Kaunda Magee

FRANKLINTON—A Washington Parish jury found Kaunda Lopaz Magee, 40, guilty late Wednesday (Feb. 3) of several crimes he committed in 2011, when he broke into a home in Pine, raped the male occupant, and shot at police during a getaway that sparked a three-week, two-state manhunt. Magee faces an automatic sentence of life in prison on the aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping charges when Judge Martin E. Coady sentences him Friday (Feb. 5).

The jury deliberated about 2 ½ hours before returning the guilty verdicts, which also included: aggravated burglary, theft of a vehicle over $1,500, aggravated flight, three counts of attempted manslaughter, and one count of attempted first degree murder. Assistant District Attorneys John Alford and Lewis Murray prosecuted the case.

Magee’s crime spree began Oct. 3, 2011, when he forced his way into the rural Washington Parish home of a then-18-year-old man. Magee tied the young man in his bedroom, stole guns, televisions, and other electronics, raped him, forced him into a closet and threatened to kill him if he came out. Magee then fled in the victim’s truck.

The victim managed to untie himself and call the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. When a Louisiana State Police trooper spotted the truck and began following it, Magee fired shots at the officers and led them on a chase that wound through Tangipahoa Parish and into Mississippi. Magee eventually wrecked the truck and fled on foot into a heavily wooded area.

The Hunt for Magee drew national attention, as officials warned residents that a dangerous fugitive was on the loose, and troopers combed the woods of Louisiana and Mississippi, searching for him. Magee was finally arrested Oct. 26, 2011, in Osyka, Mississippi, when he was shot by a resident in self-defense.

Prosecutors also plan to file a bill against Magee as a multiple offender, which would significantly increase the additional sentences that are not mandated by law.

Jury Convicts Slidell Man of Attempted Rape of 5-year-old

Brand Terral
Terral Brand

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury found Terral W. Brand, Jr., 33, of Slidell, guilty Wednesday (Feb. 3) of the attempted aggravated rape of a girl who was 5 years old at the time. Brand faces 10 to 50 years in prison when District Judge Allison H. Penzato sentences him on Feb. 22.

The crime dates back to between Oct. 28, 2013, and Oct. 29, 2013, when the victim’s mother went on a work-related trip and left the child in the Brand’s care. During that time, the child disclosed to a friend of the mother that Brand had put his finger inside her, licked her private area, and rubbed his private part against hers. The babysitter told the mother, who contacted police.

The child later shared the same account with a doctor at Children’s Hospital and in an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Covington. Brand admitted to police that he masturbated in front of the girl, but he said he was intoxicated and did not remember anything else. The jury deliberated nearly two hours before returning the guilty verdict.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jay Adair and Becky Jo Hollen.