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Month: October 2016

Jury Finds Madisonville Man Guilty of Distributing Heroin, Marijuana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 31, 2016

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury found James D. McIntosh II, 24, of Madisonville, guilty Wednesday (Oct. 26) of two counts of distribution of heroin and two counts of distribution of marijuana. After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated about 42 minutes before announcing the guilty verdict.
McIntosh was arrested after selling heroin and marijuana to a confidential police informant and undercover officer during a Louisiana State Police undercover operation last year on Nov. 19 in Covington and Dec. 1 in Mandeville.
McIntosh faces up to 100 years in prison if he is sentenced as an habitual offender during a hearing on Dec. 8. He has two prior felony convictions, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and simple criminal damage to property worth $500 to $50,000 and a pending domestic abuse by strangulation case.
Assistant District Attorneys Blake Peters and Blair Alford prosecuted the case.

mcintosh-james

Man Pleads Guilty to Murder of Father and Sister in Abita Springs

Jacob Middleton
Jacob Middleton

COVINGTON — Jacob Eli Middleton, Jr., 20, abruptly pleaded guilty Friday (Oct. 28) to two counts of manslaughter for killing his half-sister and their father in Abita Springs early last year. Middleton was sentenced to a total of 70 years in prison—35 on each of the manslaughter charges, which are to be served consecutively. He will not be eligible for probation, parole, or suspension of sentence until after he serves the first 35 years.

The plea agreement brought an unexpected end to Middleton’s first-degree murder trial for the deaths of 2-year-old Makayla Middleton and her father, Jacob Middleton, Sr. The trial began Thursday, after three days of jury selection. But after sitting through nearly two days of emotional testimonies and evidence, family members of both victims and the defendant stated in court Friday that they support the terms of the plea agreement.

“These are difficult cases to resolve,” District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. “The victims are no longer here to speak for themselves, but their family members, who have endured unimaginable suffering, believe that this is the best resolution of this tragic case. In accordance with their wishes and in the interests of justice, I’ve agreed to this plea.”

Jacob Jr., who was 17 at the time, shot his father and half-sister each in the head as they lay sleeping on an air mattress last year between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5 in Jacob Middleton Sr.’s home on Carnation Street in Abita Springs. The father had planned to spend that Saturday afternoon watching a Saints playoff game with his children, followed the next day by pizza and games at Chuck E. Cheese’s. But those plans went awry, and Jacob Sr. did not show up at work or drop Makayla off at her mother’s home on the morning of Jan. 5. That prompted Kellie Bravo, Makayla’s mother, who lived in New Orleans, to drive with two friends to Jacob Sr.’s home, where they discovered the two bodies.

“I went through hell,” Bravo said in a statement just before Jacob Jr.’s sentencing. “I don’t feel bad for him. He knew exactly what he was doing…He was jealous of his little sister.”

Several members of Jacob Jr.’s family, including his grandmother, Mary Chavis, Jacob Sr.’s mother, said the young man had a difficult upbringing and was also a victim. But after accepting the plea, Ad Hoc Judge Bruce Bennett told Jacob Jr. that people should be accountable for their actions, no matter what age. “I have grave concern about who you are on the inside,” Bennett said.

Bennett said it was evident that the murders had ripped the family apart. Jacob Jr. had been given a second chance to better himself, even though he will be incarcerated, and that he “should feel obligated to make every effort to right the wrongs that have been done.”

Assistant District Attorneys William Macke and Elizabeth Authement prosecuted the case.

Jury Convicts Slidell Man of Attempted Rape and Burglary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 24, 2016

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury has convicted Chad Jerome Moore, 31, of Slidell, of attempted aggravated rape and aggravated burglary of an inhabited dwelling for breaking into a home last summer and trying to rape the occupant. The jury deliberated about 2½ hours last Thursday (Oct. 20) before returning the guilty verdict.

The crime occurred about 10:50 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2015, when a woman heard noise in her Slidell home and went into her kitchen to investigate. Moore, who had climbed through a small window, leapt from the kitchen table and began moving toward her.

Despite her screams and attempts to fight him off, he ripped off her shirt, backed her into her bedroom, and pulled out a box cutter to threaten her. Neighbors working on a car outside heard her screaming, ran to the house, and knocked on the door, startling Moore. The victim then was able to use both feet to kick Moore away from her, and she ran out of the house toward the street. Shortly afterward, Moore rushed out of the house, still pulling up his pants.

One of the neighbors who had knocked on the door recognized Moore, and about two hours later police tracked him to a relative’s house, where he was hiding in the clothes dryer.

Moore has several prior convictions: In September 2008, he pleaded guilty in four separate incidents of burglary of an inhabited dwelling and three incidents of attempting to burglarize homes; in December 2008, he pleaded guilty to trespassing; in March 2009, a jury found him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm; and in April 2009, he pleaded guilty to simple battery. Moore may face up to life in prison, if he is sentenced under the state’s habitual offender law. A sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 11, 2017.
moore-chad
Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Darrell Sims prosecuted the case.

Woman, 35, Pleads Guilty to Sex with Teen Boy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 19, 2016

FRANKLINTON—A District judge has sentenced Rachel M. Carrier, 35, who had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, to eight years in state prison but suspended that portion of the sentence, as long as she complies with several additional terms.

District Judge Martin E. Coady also ordered Carrier, of Bogalusa, to serve one year in the parish jail, five years of probation upon release, and 15 years of registration as a sex offender. She also is required to receive mental health counseling and have no contact with the victim or his family and no unsupervised contact with minors, except for family members.

Carrier’s sentencing was Thursday (Oct. 13), nearly two weeks after she pleaded guilty to six counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The same sentence applied to each of the six counts of carnal knowledge, but the terms are to be served concurrently. Carnal knowledge of a juvenile carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The maximum jail time for the contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge is six months, and Carrier was sentenced to time served for the eight months she has been in jail.

Carrier, a mother of five children, including three teenage girls, had sex with the boy on several occasions and sometimes allowed him and his friends, who are also teenage boys, to spend the night at her home. While the boys were there, Carrier allowed them to smoke and drink. Carrier was arrested by the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office and released on bond, but about six weeks later she was arrested again when authorities discovered she was continuing to see the teenage boy.

carrier-rachel

DA Montgomery sends letter to Advocate Editor

Oct. 4, 2016

Letters to the Editor
The New Orleans Advocate
1010 Common St.
New Orleans, LA 70112

Dear Editor:

I read with interest John Simerman’s story on Oct. 1 about Louisiana’s habitual offender law, and I’d like to explain my opinion. First, there are many alternatives prior to the use of the habitual offender law. Due to the leadership of the Judges and Law Enforcement community in Washington and St. Tammany parishes, we presently have programs extending from Operation Angel (drug rehabilitation prior to arrest) to the DA’s Diversion program (rehabilitation without a criminal conviction) to the Judges’ specialty courts, including Drug Court, Sobriety Court, Family Preservation Court, Behavioral Health Court, and Reentry Court, among others. All these programs attempt to rehabilitate without incarceration.

However, I want to make it absolutely clear that I support multiple billing as a prosecutorial tool. As expressed in the story, I do believe that the habitual offender law should be used for those who repeatedly prey on others, whether or not their predatory criminal behavior results in violence. For example, the criminal who repeatedly burglarizes homes and automobiles or sells drugs belongs in jail, even if no one was hurt or killed when the crime was committed. Such criminal activities undermine the safety and security of our communities. Therefore, those who choose to commit such criminal acts multiple times indeed deserve tougher sentences than first-time offenders.

I don’t like that the habitual offender law in its current form does not allow judges the ability to suspend a portion of the sentence imposed. For example, the law sets mandatory minimum sentences that cannot be suspended. The value of a suspended sentence is that it hangs over a defendant’s head as a strong deterrent to crime while the defendant is out of prison. The current law also does not include a probationary period for defendants upon their release, which I also believe can help steer defendants from crime.

The habitual offender law does give my prosecutors a “big hammer” to hold over defendants who already have been given second chances through our many specialty courts. But the law also gives prosecutors the option of incrementally ratcheting up the punishment for those who continue to break the law.

Sincerely,

Warren Montgomery

D.A. Montgomery Announces Historic Racketeering Indictment

warren-at-team-we-news-conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 13, 2016

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced Thursday (Oct.13) one of the biggest racketeering cases in the parish’s history, the indictment of 20 people who were members or affiliates of a drug trafficking organization, called Team We. The organization distributed primarily heroin and methamphetamine throughout the eastern side of the parish.

The 45-count indictment (38 felony counts and seven misdemeanors) charges 17 of the defendants with racketeering and includes an array of drug and other charges. Sixteen of the defendants are in police custody, including three of whom are in jails outside St. Tammany and one in federal custody. Four of the defendants are still at large.

The arrests and indictments were the result of a multi-agency investigation by the FBI, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Slidell Police Department, Pearl River Police Department, and District Attorney’s Office.

“This investigation is a great example of federal and local law enforcement agencies working together to address the serious heroin and methamphetamine problem in our community,” Montgomery said. “My administration is taking a proactive approach, assisting in the investigation and moving quickly to indict individuals who have made a career out of crime.”

Montgomery thanked his Criminal Division Chief Collin Sims, Assistant District Attorney Jerry Smith, and Investigators Patrick Matthews and Jerry McDowell for their work on the case, as well as the FBI, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith, Smith’s Chief Deputy Fred Oswald, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Bill Johnson, Slidell Police Chief E.J. Howard, and Pearl River Police Chief Johnny “J.J.” Jennings for the time and resources they committed to the investigation.

According to the indictment, Team We was a major transporter of primarily heroin and methamphetamine from New Orleans and elsewhere to St. Tammany from at least June 1, 2015, through Sept. 1, 2016. Several members of the organization were known to carry firearms, and at times they engaged in threatening and executing acts of violence.

Among the charges in the indictment are attempted second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon against Randy Lee Lail, 35, of Pearl River, who is accused of shooting a fellow member of the organization. Lail allegedly shot fellow defendant Destiny Michelle Dill, 23, of Slidell, in the face May 17, as she sat in the passenger seat of a parked car in Pearl River.

Lail is described in the indictment as a mid- to lower level distributor of heroin and methamphetamine. In addition to the charges related to the shooting, he is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Dill, a low level distributor of methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana, dated several members of the organization and brokered drug deals, according to the indictment. She is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

Two additional defendants, Timothy James Polk, 33, of Pearl River, and Marilyn Elizabeth McDonald, 40, of Slidell, were indicted on charges of accessory after the fact to attempted second degree murder in connection with the shooting. Lail was arrested the day after the shooting at a Pearl River home where Polk and McDonald were staying. Neither Polk nor McDonald was charged with racketeering.

Another defendant, John Louis Blackledge, Jr., 29, of Pearl River, was indicted for an incident on March 24 on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a motor vehicle, five counts of resisting an officer with force or violence, aggravated flight from an officer, operating a vehicle while license is suspended/revoked/canceled, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated (first offense). Blackledge is described in the indictment as a mid- to lower level distributor of heroin and methamphetamine and is also charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The additional defendants, their alleged roles, and the charges are as follows:

• Andrew Scott Barron, 27, of Slidell, a mid- to lower level distributor of heroin and methamphetamine, who routinely acquired methamphetamine from another defendant and shared vehicles used by “Team We” associates; charged with racketeering and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

• Alexis Marie Broussard, 23, of Slidell, dated several members of the organization, often conducted drug transactions, and introduced members to a heroin supply source in the Hollygrove area of New Orleans; charged with racketeering conspiracy to distribute heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia

• Catlin Wayne Buckles, 24, of Bunnell, Florida, a lower level heroin and methamphetamine distributor, who brokered drug sales for other members; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and distribution of methamphetamine
• Kaylee N. Burns, 24, of Picayune, Mississippi, charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia (was not charged with racketeering)

• Justin Hunter Carnegie, 20, of Picayune, Mississippi, a lower level heroin and methamphetamine supplier, who often accompanied a higher level distributor; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

• Sebastian Dominguez, 24, of Palm Coast, Florida, a mid- to lower level distributor of heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, production and manufacturing marijuana, possession of Buprenorphine/Suboxone, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia

• Adam J. Ellis, 22, of Slidell, a mid- to higher level distributor of heroin and methamphetamine; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

• Jason M. Kosinski, 40, of Slidell, a lower level distributor of methamphetamine who routinely accompanied his brother when he distributed methamphetamine and marijuana; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine,

• Jessie Thomas Kosinski, 36, of Slidell, a high level methamphetamine distributor who served as the primary source of supply of methamphetamine for the organization; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and possession of marijuana (first offense)

• Jonathan T. Lawrence, also known as “Migo,” 29, of Metairie, a heroin distributor for a drug trafficking organization, called the “Zoo,” in the Hollygrove area of New Orleans, and a supplier of distribution quantities of heroin to the organization; charged with racketeering and conspiracy to distribute heroin

• Dane Alan McReynolds, 25, of Pearl River, a mid- to high level distributor of heroin and methamphetamine who recruited additional members to the organization and directed their activities in the distribution of drugs; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, five counts of distribution of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia

• Ryan S. McReynolds, 26, of Abita Springs, a mid- to lower level distributor of heroin who at times referred purchasers of methamphetamine to his brother, Dane; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia

• Justin Lee Olivieri, 25, of Slidell, a mid- to higher level distributor of methamphetamine and marijuana; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of Buprenorphine/Suboxone, possession with intent to distribute MDMA, and production and manufacturing marijuana

• Tina Renee Stuprich, 29, of Slidell, a lower level distributor of methamphetamine, who dated several members of the organization and facilitated drug transactions by providing transportation and money; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and making an improper turn

• Daniel Michael Younce, 26, of Slidell, a lower level distributor of methamphetamine and heroin, who routinely assisted members of the organization by allowing them to use his vehicle to facilitate drug transactions in exchange for drugs and monies; charged with racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and two counts of distribution of heroin,

Grand Jury Returns Indictments in Two Murders and Rape Case

 

COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish grand jury has returned second-degree murder indictments against a 16-year-old boy in the March shooting death of his stepfather in Covington and a 35-year-old man accused of shooting to death his estranged girlfriend in Pearl River in July. The grand jury also indicted a 23-year-old Slidell man of first-degree rape while armed with a dangerous weapon and false impersonation of a peace officer.

Daniel T. Hamilton is charged with shooting his stepfather, James “Kenny” Hamilton, to death in the home they shared on Lenel Road in Covington. The case was recorded as the first homicide in St. Tammany Parish this year. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the home on Monday, March 7, after James Hamilton did not report to work, and a relative went to the house and discovered the body. The older Hamilton had been shot six times in the head as he sat in a recliner.

“The decision to charge a 16-year-old with second-degree murder was a difficult one,” District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. “But the details of this gruesome crime merit the serious charge.”

The grand jury on Oct 6 also indicted Jonathan David Talley, of Bogalusa, who is charged with shooting to death Aimee E. Kirst, 33, in her home in Pearl River on July 1 and then fleeing in her car with their three-year-old son. In addition to second-degree murder, Talley is charged with second-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Kirst had gotten a protective order against Talley in June last year, and it was still active at the time of the shooting. The order gave Kirst temporary custody of the couple’s son and ordered Talley not to interfere.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office sent deputies to check on Kirst’s well-being on July 1, after Talley’s mother and stepfather reported to Mississippi authorities that Talley showed up at their home in Lucedale, Mississippi, and revealed to them that he had shot Kirst. Kirst was found dead, with a gunshot wound to her head.

Talley’s arraignment is set for Oct. 31.

In the third case, Dedrick Lyndell Coleman, 23, of Slidell, is charged with raping a 25-year-old woman on June 13, while impersonating a police officer. Investigators say Coleman called a prostitute from an advertisement and arranged to pay her $150, but after the woman arrived, he lied and told her he was a police officer and that she was under investigation.

Coleman showed the woman a pair of handcuffs. With a gun on a sofa a few feet away, Coleman told her that he would not arrest her if she thanked him. He then he grabbed her and forced her to perform sexual acts, according to the investigation.

Coleman’s arraignment is set for Oct. 24.