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Month: October 2017

Mississippi Man Found Guilty in Slidell Burglary and Attack

Oct. 30, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Brian Henry Pittman, 34, of Picayune, Miss., guilty last Wednesday (Oct. 25) of aggravated battery, attempted armed robbery, and simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling for an incident two years ago. Pittman is set for sentencing before District Judge Richard Swartz on December 15, 2017.

The 44-year-old victim was cooking on a grill on the patio of his Slidell home on March 29, 2015, when a stranger, who was later identified as Pittman, entered the victim’s yard and asked for money. Pittman then brandished a knife and struck the victim in the face before the victim was able to flee to a neighbor’s home. Pittman then entered the victim’s home to look for items of value. As Pittman fled from the home, he left behind a cap, which investigators for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office were able to link to him through DNA analysis.

The jury’s verdict was unanimous on all counts. Assistant District Attorney John Alford and Assistant District Attorney Becky Jo Hollen prosecuted the case.

Pittman, who has a 2011 felony conviction for home invasion, faces from five to 20 years for the aggravated battery charge, 25 to 99 years for the attempted armed robbery, and six to 24 years for the simple burglary.

Covington Man Sentenced To Six Years in Prison for Domestic Abuse

Oct. 27, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Christopher P. Thomas, 23, of Covington, pleaded guilty last Wednesday (Oct. 25) to domestic abuse battery (third offense) and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Thomas had been on probation for prior domestic abuse charges, but District Judge William Burris revoked his probation and sentenced him to a year in prison on the revocation. The five-year sentence will begin after that year is served.

Thomas had been convicted in three prior incidents, all in 2016, involving the same victim. District Judge William J. Knight gave Thomas a three-year suspended sentence and probation on those charges.

Thomas was still on probation when the most recent incident occurred on the evening of March 30, 2017. Thomas struck the victim on the head with a closed fist and then, as she tried to get away, grabbed her and punched her in the side. The force of the blow to the victim’s rib cage knocked her to the ground. The victim then fled to her parents’ home, and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted.

Assistant District Attorneys Roy Burns, III, and William Macke prosecuted the case.

Over the past two years, District Attorney Montgomery has increased the resources to the domestic violence unit, which now includes two attorneys, an investigator, victim assistance coordinator, and secretary. The team has eliminated a large backlog of cases and significantly reduced the number of cases thrown out for lack of evidence.

In 2014, 224 were thrown out, compared to 39 by the end of September this year. The number of defendants who pleaded guilty as charged at trial in the first nine months of this year (100 defendants) already has exceeded the number that pleaded guilty as charged in 2014 (75 defendants).

Montgomery said the resources he added to the department have been worth the investment. “A number of the murders that occur in our district are the result of domestic violence,” Montgomery said. “We believe that by decreasing domestic violence, we’re decreasing the murder rate.”

Lacombe Man Charged With Rape, Burglary

Oct. 27, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury on Thursday (Oct. 26) indicted Ronald Douglas Moore, Jr., 25, of Lacombe, on charges of first degree rape and aggravated burglary with battery.

Moore is accused of entering a home on Monroe Street in Mandeville without authorization and raping a woman there between August 4, 2017, and August 5, 2017.

Grand Jury Charges Pearl River Man with Second Degree Murder

Oct. 27, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury on Thursday (Oct. 26) indicted Joseph Adam Thibodeaux, III, 25, of Pearl River, on charges of second degree murder and domestic abuse aggravated assault with child endangerment.

Thibodeaux is accused of killing Douglas James Evans, Jr., in an incident on or about July 30, 2017. Thibodeaux also is accused of assaulting a household member with a knife in the presence of a minor, who was 13 years or younger at the time.

Seventeen-Year-Old Indicted In Stepfather’s Murder

Oct. 27, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury on Thursday (Oct. 26) indicted Daniel T. Hamilton, 17, of Ragley, La., with second degree murder in the death of his stepfather.

Hamilton is accused of killing James K. Hamilton between March 4, 2016, and March 7, 2016, in the victim’s Covington home.

Hamilton also was charged with two counts of solicitation for murder. He is accused of soliciting another person on Sept. 1, 2017, to kill two people, according to the indictment.

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Malfeasance

Oct. 27, 2017

District Attorney Warren Montgomery and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith announce the indictment and arrest Thursday (Oct. 26) of a former Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigator charged with malfeasance in office.

A St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted Jordan Anthony Hollenbeck, 33, of Slidell, an investigator assigned to the narcotics unit, on three counts of malfeasance in office.

According to the indictment, Hollenbeck, while working in his capacity as a narcotics investigator, “established a relationship with an illegal prescription pill distributor in order to unlawfully receive narcotics for consumption” on or about Sept. 1, 2016. He also is accused of communicating information regarding one or more confidential informants to an illegal distributor of prescription pills for personal gain on at least two occasions—on or about April 10, 2017, and on or about July 13, 2017.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Collin Sims.

Hollenbeck’s employment with the Sheriff’s Office was terminated, and he was arrested.

Former St. Tammany Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Distributing Marijuana, Malfeasance

Oct. 27, 2017

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith announce the indictment and arrest Thursday (Oct. 26) of a former Sheriff’s Office deputy, charged with distribution of marijuana and malfeasance in office.

A St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted Deputy Kenneth Szalajeski, 35, of Folsom, on two counts of distribution of marijuana and two counts of malfeasance in office. Szalajeski is accused of seizing marijuana and other contraband from a private citizen, while acting in the capacity of a Deputy Sheriff, and later distributing the marijuana to another private citizen on or about May 28, 2016, and on or about Oct. 25, 2016.

Szalajeski’s employment at the Sheriff’s Office was terminated. He was arrested Thursday and is in the custody of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Collin Sims.