District Attorney Warren Montgomery is sponsoring a blood drive for Congressman Steve Scalise.
Thursday, July 27th from 11:30 – 3:30
701 N. Columbia Street – Covington
Blood Center Bus – South Side
Congressman Steve Scalise is now in fair condition after having undergone three surgeries requiring multiple transfusions and more surgeries are expected.
Now is the time to come together and share your good health by giving The Gift of Life for Steve and the many other innocent victims of crimes who need blood when least expected. Blood cannot be manufactured. Volunteer donors are the life-saving link!
FRANKLINTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Lavarion Savon Jefferson, 18, of Franklinton, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence for armed robbery with a firearm.
Judge Pro Tempore Don Fendlason sentenced Jefferson on June 12 to 10 years for the armed robbery and five additional years for carrying a firearm. The sentences are to be served consecutively. A Washington Parish jury had convicted Jefferson May 11 after a two-day trial.
The crime occurred last year, when Jefferson and another man entered a Franklinton home on June 21 at 12:30 a.m. and walked into the bathroom, where a woman had been bathing her two-year-old son. Pointing a gun at the victim, Jefferson said, “Look at your son, not at me.”
Dressed in black pants and a dark hoodie, partially covering his face, Jefferson demanded to know where cash was kept in the home. The victim told him where to find a bedroom safe and coin jar, which together contained $230. The men then fled with the cash. An investigation by the Franklinton Police Department identified Jefferson as the gunman.
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that William L. Leto, 38, of Bush, a former math teacher and assistant girls’ basketball coach at Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville, pleaded guilty Monday (June 19) to molestation of a juvenile by a teacher.
District Judge Richard Swartz, Jr., sentenced Leto to five years in prison without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Upon release, Leto must register as a sex offender for 25 years.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip last year that Leto was having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student. An investigation determined that Leto’s contact with the student began on social media and turned sexual.
Assistant District Attorney John Alford prosecuted the case.
COVINGTON—A Mandeville man abruptly ended his second degree murder trial Friday (June 9) by pleading guilty in the death of his ex-wife on her birthday in 2012. District Judge August J. Hand then sentenced the defendant, Calvin B. Jefferson, 46, to a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
“The evidence was overwhelming,” District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. “I’m glad he pled to give some closure to the family and reduce their pain.”
Montgomery praised the work of Assistant District Attorneys John Alford and Blake Peters, as well as the defense attorneys and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Det. Alvin Hotard, who investigated the case.
Judge Hand allowed Jefferson to enter what is known as an “Alford plea,” A U.S. Supreme Court precedent that enables a defendant to maintain his innocence, while conceding the overwhelming evidence against him that likely would result in a guilty verdict. Prosecutors strongly objected to Jefferson’s conditional plea, which was based on the 1970 U.S. Supreme Court case North Carolina v. Alford. Assistant District Attorney Alford (no connection to the Supreme Court case) said Hand had listened all week to the “mountain of evidence” against Jefferson and urged the judge to reject the condition. “The state is morally opposed and strenuously and morally objects to allowing the defendant to maintain his innocence,” Alford argued in court.
Nicole Jefferson, the defendant’s ex-wife, who had worked as a Transportation Security Administration agent, was killed on her 31st birthday on April 29, 2012, after a party at the Mandeville home she shared with her ex-husband. The coroner determined that she died from homicidal violence due to blunt force trauma.
The couple had been divorced since 2006, but testimonies during the weeklong trial revealed that Nicole Jefferson allowed her ex-husband to move back in with her after relocating to Mandeville from a Dallas suburb to help care for their four children. Witnesses were prepared to testify that Nicole Jefferson was ready to move on without her ex-husband. She was last seen by family members and friends when they celebrated her birthday.
Calvin Jefferson initially told police that he and his wife went to bed after the party and that when he woke up, she was gone. Jefferson changed his story several times, and prosecutors presented video evidence showing that at the time Jefferson had said he was sleeping, he was actually purchasing a bottle of ammonia in a local Wal Mart. Prosecutors also presented videos that showed his vehicle in the area of the interstate where Nicole Jefferson’s body was later found on May 6 and a video of him at a car wash after midnight on the night she disappeared.
In addition, prosecutors were prepared to introduce testimonies from witnesses in seven prior cases in which Calvin Jefferson was arrested for domestic violence in the Dallas area, Calcasieu Parish, as well as St. Tammany.
Four family members of Nicole Jefferson and some of her T.S.A. colleagues testified before the sentencing about the impact of Nicole’s death on their lives. Nicole’s brother Chris Veade, and her niece, Elizabeth Veade, both wanted to know why. “Don’t just give me a blank stare,” Elizabeth Veade said in one of many emotional moments in the trial and sentencing. “Why? Especially on her birthday.”
Kathy Kromer, who had worked with Nicole for T.S.A. in Dallas, said her friend had been a battered wife. Kromer said she saw Nicole with a black eye and bruises and that Nicole had once confided in her that she had been locked in her bedroom for three days. “To me, you are the scum of the earth,” she told Calvin Jefferson. “Couldn’t you have just walked away?”
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury on Thursday (June 8) returned the following indictments:
• Jake Mills, 20, of Mandeville, of second degree murder in the death of Vincent A. Cuccia on or about March 18, 2017.
• Margaret Camaille Stockstill, 32, of Franklinton, of second degree murder in the death of Cody M. Couch; she initially had been booked with manslaughter.
• William Thomas Jones, Jr., 44, of Franklinton, the former evidence custodian for the Causeway Police Department, of malfeasance in office, of theft of items valued at more than $5,000, and two counts of theft of a firearm; he is accused of stealing controlled dangerous substances under his custody between Oct. 4, 2011, and Nov. 28, 2016, taking cash, valued at between $5,000 and $25,000 from evidence collected by the department, and taking two firearms—a Smith and Wesson 40-caliber handgun and a Taurus 38-caliber handgun—that were in the department’s custody.
• Craig Anthony Marquez, 54, of Abita Springs, of aggravated first degree rape of a victim under 13. Marquez is accused of raping a girl, who was 8 years old when the abuse started in 2013.
Mr. Terrell’s shirt says it all: “Home of the Free. Because of the Brave.” At 97 years old, Mr. Terrell is walking history. He and his brother stormed Omaha Beach in the Normandy Invasion. They are St. Tammany Parish residents, remarkable men, American heroes.