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Month: June 2016

ICYMI – Plans for Safe Haven Campus in Mandeville Rolled Out

District Attorney Warren Montgomery joined Parish President Pat Brister and other public officials this week at a town hall meeting, where plans were unveiled for the parish’s Safe Haven campus in Mandeville. Safe Haven, which will be housed on the grounds of the old Southeast Hospital, will provide comprehensive mental health care services for the region. Click here for more information.

 

Jury Finds Slidell Man Guilty of Raping Carnival Worker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2016Davis Alvin

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury found Alvin Davis, 56, of Slidell, guilty Thursday (June 23) of raping a 21-year-old woman who was part of a traveling carnival in 2014. Davis, a candidate for sentencing under the state’s habitual offender law, may face a mandatory life sentence at a hearing on Aug. 1 before District Judge Scott Gardner.

The jury deliberated just under 2 ½ hours before returning a unanimous verdict of guilty of forcible rape. Assistant District Attorneys Jason Cuccia and Jerry Smith prosecuted the case. The case had been dismissed earlier when the victim, who was living in the New England region, failed to appear for a hearing. District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s prosecutors filed new charges and continued to pursue the case.

“The victim was understandably reluctant to return to the state of Louisiana,” Montgomery said. “I’m very proud of our prosecutors, investigators and the detectives, who went the extra mile to get her here and prove that this was a forcible rape. The jury saw through the attempts to blame the victim and cloud the facts. My office will continue to prosecute sexual predators to the fullest extent of the law.”

The victim had gone to Davis’s trailer with her boyfriend on Jan. 18, 2014, to buy marijuana, and the three of them—the victim, her boyfriend, and Davis—smoked together. When the boyfriend left to go to the store with two other men, Davis began making sexual advances towards the woman. She pushed him away, but he shoved her on the bed. When she tried to get up, he punched her in the face so hard that she fell to the floor. Davis then picked her up, pushed her on the bed and forcibly raped her. Afterwards, she left the trailer and walked to the trailer where she was staying.

The victim later told her boyfriend and friends, who took her to the hospital. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. DNA evidence linked Davis to the victim.

Davis has 13 prior felony convictions and one misdemeanor conviction on his criminal record.

Bogalusa Man Gets 15 Years for Indecent Behavior with a 6-year-old Girl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2016

FRANKLINTON—Bobby K. Harris, 44, of Bogalusa, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for indecent behavior with a juvenile under 13. District Judge Richard Swartz issued the sentence Monday (June 20), after Harris pleaded guilty to the crime.

The crime came to light on May 17, 2013, when a 6-year-old girl told her grandmother that Harris had touched her inappropriately earlier that week. The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified, and then-Capt. Tommie Sorrell, now an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, learned during an interview that Harris also had shown the child pornography, watched her undress, and touched her genitals in a sexual manner.

Harris later confessed to the crime during an interview with Major Thomas Mitchell and Det. Damon Mitchell.
Harris Bobby
Swartz ordered Harris to serve his sentence without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

Mississippi Man Gets 10 Years for Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash over Middle Pearl River

COVINGTON—Daniel Coy, 26, of Gulfport, received the maximum sentence of five years in prison Monday (June 20) for negligent homicide for causing a crash last year that killed the driver of an 18-wheeler over the Middle Pearl River near Slidell. District Judge Ad Hoc Donald Fendlason also sentenced Coy to the maximum10 years in prison on a hit-and-run charge but suspended five of the years.

The sentences are to run concurrently, and Coy was ordered to serve probation during the five years that were suspended. Coy pleaded guilty last month to the charges, which also included a misdemeanor, reckless operation of a vehicle. He was given credit for time served on that charge. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian prosecuted the case.

Coy was driving a dark blue pickup truck on Nov. 3 last year, when he used the right shoulder to pass two 18-wheeler trucks that occupied the left and right lanes. The shoulder narrowed as Coy attempted to pass, and he struck the guard rail, which caused him to swerve suddenly into the right lane. He slammed into an 18-wheeler with force, pushing it to the left lane and into the 18-wheeler driven by Steven Shawn Clark, 26, of Alabama. Clark’s vehicle then went over the guard rail, hit the water, and sank. Rescue divers had to be called in to help locate the truck and Clark’s body.

Coy fled the scene, but Louisiana State Police officers were able to track him down with information from witnesses.
Coy Daniel
Several members of Clark’s family gave a victim impact statement before Coy was sentenced.

Jury Convicts Slidell Man of Drug Charges

Simmons Alfred
COVINGTON—Alfred Simmons, 39, of Slidell, faces from 20 years to life in prison as an habitual offender after a St. Tammany Parish jury convicted him last week of possessing cocaine and marijuana. The jury deliberated about a half-hour on Thursday (June 2), before finding Simmons guilty of one count each of possession of cocaine and a second offense possession of marijuana.
Simmons has four prior felony convictions: aggravated burglary and armed robbery in 1996, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling in 2000, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a drug commonly known as Ecstasy in 2008, and possession of cocaine in 2012. He is set for sentencing by District Judge August Hand on July 14. Assistant District Attorney Blake Peters prosecuted the case.

The Slidell Police Department was conducting surveillance of a house on Beechwood Drive in Slidell on March 18, 2015, when officers observed Simmons go there and leave shortly afterward. When Simmons was then stopped for a traffic infraction, officers found large quantities of marijuana, synthetic marijuana, and crack cocaine.

4 STPPS Students Win National Merit Scholarships

 

Northshore High National Merit WinnersFontainebleau High National Merit Winner

The District Attorney’s office would like to congratulate the four St. Tammany Parish Public School System students who were recently honored as National Merit Scholarship winners.

In the photos above are Northshore High National Merit Scholarship Winners (left to right): Dana Park, Katherine Simmers and Benjamin Rowley, and Fontainebleau High National Merit Scholarship Winner Matthew Myrtue.

See press release below for additional details and bios of the winners.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Meredith Mendez, Director of Communications 985.898.3244/Meredith.Mendez@stpsb.org

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System has four students named among the top high school students in the nation as 2016 National Merit Scholars.

Matthew Myrtue from Fontainebleau High and Dana Park, Benjamin Rowley and Katherine Simmers from Northshore High were named winners of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships.

Out of the 1.5 million students who took the initial qualifying test, they were selected as winners for having the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college.

“These students have been recognized as top in the nation for not only their academic success, but also their activities and service to the community. Congratulations to these outstanding students, their families and their teachers for this prestigious honor.” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Matthew Myrtue is the Fontainebleau High Student of the Year, WWL-A+ Athlete and Wendy’s Heisman State Winner. Matthew is a member of the Cross Country and Track Team, National Hispanic Honor Society, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Quiz Bowl, and an FHS Student Ambassador. He will attend the University of Southern California and major in Electrical Engineering.

Dana Park is a class valedictorian and AP Scholar with Distinction. She served as the Northshore High Band Drum Major for three years, is an NHS Student Ambassador, is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Beta Club and participated and placed in the top three for the American Taekwondo Foundation National Championships. She will attend Duke University and major in Computer Science and Economics.

Benjamin Rowley is a class valedictorian, Co-founder of the Northshore High Debate Club and participated in Louisiana Boys State. He is a member of the Northshore High swim team, robotics team, band, Debate Club and is a Life Scout for Boy Scouts. He will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology and major in Physics and Computer Science.

Katherine Simmers is a class valedictorian, US Presidential Scholar Semifinalist, Questbridge Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction and Randolph Book Award winner. She is NHS Governor of Ambassadors and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, swim team and National Honor Society. She will attend Rice University and major in Bioengineering.