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Month: September 2018

Former Health Club Worker Pleads Guilty in $1.7 million Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 27, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that Emily L. Davis, 43, of Ponchatoula, pleaded guilty Wednesday (Sept. 26) to theft and identity theft in a scheme that bilked her former employer, Franco’s Athletic Club, of more than $1.7 million.

Davis, the club’s former finance director, was one of two people charged with conspiring between March 1, 2008, and July 31, 2016, to steal cash and electronic funds systematically from the health club.

As part of the plea agreement, ordered by District Judge Richard Swartz, Davis pleaded guilty to three counts of theft over $25,000, one count of theft between $5,000 and $25,000, and two counts of identity theft.  She paid $100,000 in restitution and will have to make monthly payments totaling $25,000 over the next three years. Judge Swartz sentenced Davis to a total of 10 years but suspended all but one year of the sentence. Davis will serve that year under house arrest, which will enable her to leave home only for work so that she can make the remaining restitution payments. If she fails to meet the terms of the agreement, she could face jail time.

In the Wednesday hearing, Davis apologized for her role in the scheme. Franco’s owners agreed to the terms of the plea.

Co-defendant Jennifer E. Thompson, 47, of Mandeville, the club’s former human resources director, awaits trial.

The two women were indicted in February last year and accused of taking more than $1.4 million in cash for their personal use, erasing more than $165,000 in personal, in-house credit account charges through the use of fictitious bank accounts, erasing more than $19,000 in personal loans from their employer’s 401K retirement fund, and laundering the proceeds by making cash deposits, totaling $300,000 in various personal bank accounts. Davis also was accused of using the name of the club’s owners to obtain $1,000 without authorization on two different occasions.

Jury Finds Franklinton Man Guilty of Aggravated Crime Against Nature With Boy, 4

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Sept. 27, 2018

FRANKLINTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a Washington Parish jury found Jonathan Luper, 27, of Franklinton, guilty as charged of aggravated crime against nature with a child under 13. Luper faces a sentence of 25 to 99 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 8.

The victim, 4 years old at the time of the crime three years ago, told a grandmother that Luper had touched his private part and put it in his mouth. The grandmother alerted authorities, and the Bogalusa Police Department investigated the case.

During Luper’s arrest, investigators found a bunch of soiled baby diapers that Luper collected in a locked closet.  Luper admitted to using the diapers to arouse himself when he  masturbated. Crime lab tests confirmed his DNA on the diapers.

The trial began Monday, and the jury deliberated about an hour before announcing the guilty verdict. Assistant District Attorneys Jay Adair and Jason Cuccia prosecuted the case.

 

Franklinton Man, 63, Pleads Guilty To Raping Mentally Handicapped Man

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 27, 2018

FRANKLINTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Eddie McBeth, 63, of Franklinton, abruptly ended his trial Wednesday (Sept. 26) with a guilty plea to second degree rape for raping a mentally handicapped man nearly three years ago.

District Judge Alan Zaunbrecher sentenced McBeth to 25 years in prison without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

The victim, 21 at the time of the crime, suffers from mild mental retardation. He was attending a Halloween party on Oct. 31, 2015, when McBeth provided the victim alcohol and lured him away from the party while other guests were distracted by the serving of food.  McBeth hid behind a bale of hay in a field and raped the young man. Afterwards, McBeth told the victim not to tell his parents. But early the next morning, the victim told his parents what happened, and his mother called the rape crisis line, operated by ADAPT.

ADAPT Executive Director Charlotte Fornea assisted the family in reporting the incident to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Demi Rice conducted the investigation. JoBeth Rickles conducted a videotaped forensic interview of the victim at the Bogalusa Hope House. DNA from McBeth was found on the genitalia of the victim.

McBeth pleaded guilty on the third day of his trial, before the victim testified. Prior to McBeth’s sentencing, the victim’s mother read a statement about the impact of the crime on her special needs son and their family.

Assistant District Attorneys David Weilbaecher, Jr., and Roy Burns, III, prosecuted the case.

Multiple Offender Gets 30 Years In Prison For Gun Possession

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 27, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Ronald St. Cyre, 37, of Westwego, was sentenced Friday (Sept. 21) as a multiple offender to 30 years in prison for being a felon with a firearm. A St. Tammany Parish jury had found St. Cyre guilty of the crime in July.

In November 2017, St. Cyre, who was on probation for a previous offense, was shot in the leg during an exchange of gunfire in a separate incident in Jefferson Parish. Two months later, when St. Cyre showed up to check in with his probation officer, he tested positive for marijuana, oxycodone, and other drugs in his system. The parole officer then searched St. Cyre’s vehicle, where a .40-caliber handgun was found.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant District Attorneys Casey Dieck and Holly McGinness prosecuted it.

 

Lacombe Woman Gets 30 Years in Prison in Death of Foster Child

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 24, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that Trenique C. Faciane, 44, of Lacombe was sentenced Friday (Sept. 21) to 30 years in prison for killing her 22-month-old foster child. Faciane, who owned a daycare at the time of the child’s death, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February before District Judge Richard Swartz, who sentenced her.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies, who investigated the case, said Faciane admitted beating the toddler, Madison Parrott, with a hairbrush, shaking and dropping her in a bath tub on May 21, 2015. The child later died, and the cause was determined to be multiple blunt force trauma with bleeding on the brain. Faciane ultimately entered an “Alford plea,” meaning she did not admit her guilt but conceded that the evidence, if presented at trial, would likely have resulted in a guilty verdict.

Family members of the victim wrote statements about the impact of the girl’s death on their lives. “She was only 22 months old,” the mother wrote. “What did my baby do to have this done to her…There’s days I can’t deal with the fact that she will never come home to her family that so much loved her.”

The grandmother described the nightmares, fear, and other problems the remaining siblings have experienced since the toddler’s death. “How could someone get angry enough to violently kill a 22-month-old? That’s the nightmare we have to live with,” she said.

The siblings also wrote statements asking the judge to give Faciane a tough sentence. “If my sister could not stay alive for her life, then she should not be out of jail,” one statement said.

The maximum possible sentence for manslaughter is 40 years in prison. Assistant District Attorney John Alford prosecuted this case.

 

Lacombe Man Gets Life Sentence For Raping Mandeville Woman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 17, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Ronald D. Moore, Jr., 26, of Lacombe, was sentenced Monday (Sept. 17) to mandatory life in prison for breaking into a Mandeville woman’s home and raping her last year.

A first degree rape charge carries a mandatory life sentence under state law. District Judge Peter Garcia also sentenced Moore to 15 years in prison for the aggravated burglary charge, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

A St. Tammany Parish jury convicted Moore last month after a weeklong trial. Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and William Macke, who both prosecuted the case, said Moore was a stranger to the then 53-year-old victim and that this was a crime of opportunity.

The victim spoke briefly before the sentencing. “He changed both of our lives the night he made this decision…,” she said. “From this day, I hope to keep getting better.”

The victim lived alone in Old Mandeville and was asleep on the sofa about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2017, when she awakened to Moore, standing over her and fondling her. She tried to fight him off, but he put her in a chokehold, strangling her so intensely that blood pooled in the back of her neck, and blood vessels ruptured in her face. During an ordeal that lasted about two hours, Moore raped her, threatened to kill her, taunted her, and stole her prescription medication, driver’s license and mobile phone.

When Moore eventually fled, the victim went to the hospital, where the Mandeville Police Department was contacted.  The victim was able to give a detailed description of Moore. During their investigation, police officers used video surveillance from surrounding establishments to identify a man who matched the victim’s description. When an image from the video was publicized, a caller identified Moore.

DNA evidence, matched to Moore, also was found on the victim.

In statements to police, Moore remembered being at a bar near the victim’s home.  He also said he recalled getting a ride home from a gas station near the bar, but he claimed he could not remember what happened during the hours in between.

Judge Garcia denied motions by Moore’s attorney for an acquittal and for a new trial.

“This crime was particularly cruel in my mind,” Garcia said.

 

 

Man Pleads Guilty To Multiple Drug Charges From Slidell Undercover Operation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 13, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Kyle Jerome Anderson, 33, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty Monday (Sept. 10) to possession with the intent to distribute heroin, aggravated criminal damage to property, attempted distribution of heroin, obstruction of justice, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

District Judge Peter Garcia sentenced Anderson as a multiple offender to a total of 20 years in prison.

Anderson was identified as a suspect during an undercover investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force. As officers attempted to arrest him at a Slidell restaurant, Anderson tried to flee from the parking lot in a car at a high rate of speed, striking an unmarked police car so hard that the airbags deployed. The collision disabled both vehicles, and Anderson then fled through the parking lot with officers in pursuit. Anderson ignored officers’ verbal commands for him to stop, leapt into a nearby canal, and soon afterwards yelled for help, saying he could not swim. He was assisted out of the water and arrested.

A woman who identified herself as his girlfriend also was arrested. Officers found a semi-automatic handgun and a theft alarm deactivation device in her purse. Officers also found two grams of heroin, another semiautomatic handgun, and a digital scale inside the car and a discarded baggie with heroin residue on the ground in the area where Anderson fled. Further investigation also uncovered videos and photos of Anderson, wearing body armor and posing with firearms and large sums of money with drug paraphernalia in the background.

Assistant District Attorney Blair Alford prosecuted the case.