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Month: October 2018

District Attorney Announces Interagency Partnership to Combat Domestic Violence

Below is the District Attorney’s Press Release regarding this Domestic Violence event.  Below also please watch WWL-TV news video coverage and the full event via the New Orleans Advocate’s FB Live.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 25, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced Thursday (Oct. 25) that 12 local and state agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining how they will work together to respond to domestic violence cases in St. Tammany Parish.

Montgomery held a press conference outside his second-floor office at the Justice Center to introduce the new team, called the St. Tammany Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT). Standing with Montgomery were representatives from all of the partner agencies, including all local law enforcement agencies, the St. Tammany Parish Clerk’s Office, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Louisiana Probation and Parole, and Safe Harbor Domestic Violence Program.
Montgomery said the goal of the partnership is to ensure that victim support and safety are prioritized throughout the legal process and that there is a just and swift outcome. Ultimately, the CCRT aims to reduce domestic violence in St. Tammany. Last year, nearly half of the homicides in unincorporated St. Tammany involved domestic violence.

The CCRT will standardize the way law enforcement agencies respond to domestic violence and assure smooth access to services that enhance the safety and privacy of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The agreement spells out the roles, responsibilities, and confidentiality obligations of the partner agencies, as well as how the partners will share information.

A key component of the agreement will be the development of a High Risk Team among the partners to review high-risk offenders for prosecution. The team will meet regularly to determine charges and conditions of supervised release, assess safety measures for the victim, and review available resources to assist.

The St. Tammany CCRT is modeled after a similar partnership initiated in 2005 in Ouachita Parish, involving the District Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement agencies and community partners. Afterwards, reports of domestic and dating violence in Ouachita Parish dropped by nearly 48 percent, according to local media reports. Between 2010 and 2014, domestic violence homicides there dropped 70 percent.

Assistant District Attorney Collin Sims, Chief of the Criminal Division, began putting together the team in St. Tammany about seven months ago. In addition to Montgomery, the following officials also signed the Memorandum of Understanding: Sheriff Randy Smith, Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker, Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz (who has since resigned), Pearl River Police Chief Johnny “JJ” Jennings, Folsom Police Chief Beau Killingsworth, Madisonville Police Chief Barney Tyrney, St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court Melissa R. Henry, Wendy Griffith of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Thomas Bickham of Louisiana Probation and Parole, and Safe Harbor Executive Director Kim Kirby. Interim Covington Police Chief Stephen Culotta also attended to show his support for the partnership.

Parish President Pat Brister’s Office and Covington Mayor Mike Cooper presented proclamations, recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The press conference ended with an acknowledgment of the 10 homicide victims of domestic violence over the past year. Sheri Eastridge of Safe Harbor read each name, followed by a soft ringing of a bell.

Grand Jury Indicts Atlanta Man of Raping 11-Year-Old Slidell Girl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 18, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted Jacques A. Garnett, 52, of Atlanta, Thursday (Oct. 18) of first degree rape of a person under the age of 13.

Garnett is accused of raping an 11-year old girl in Slidell between November 1, 2016, and Dec. 25, 2016.

Assistant District Attorney Ysonde Boland presented the case to the grand jury.

Jury Convicts Covington Man of Domestic Abuse Battery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury convicted Robert G. Garner, Jr., 44, of Covington, on Oct. 11 of domestic abuse battery involving strangulation.  As a multiple offender, Garner faces two to six years in prison when he is sentenced by District Judge Peter Garcia.

On the night of May 13, 2018, Garner attacked the victim by punching her in the head and then strangling her in her Folsom home. The victim’s 15-year-old son eventually called a third party for help, and the police were notified.  The victim and her son testified during the trial about the attack. The jury also heard about two prior episodes of violence in which Garner beat and threatened the victim.

Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and William Macke played a voice mail message that was left by Garner, daring the victim to call the police. “They can’t watch you forever,” he said in the message. He also said in the message that the next time she wouldn’t walk again.  The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Grand Jury Indicts Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Deputy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 18, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Ricky Steinert, 42, of Pearl River, Thursday (Oct. 18) of one count of falsely swearing for the purpose of violating public health or safety and one count of malfeasance.

Steinert is accused of falsifying information on a DWI arrest report on Jan. 16, 2016.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Smith presented the case to the grand jury.

ADA Harold Bartholomew Panelist for Elder Financial Exploitation Event

Assistant District Attorney Harold S. Bartholomew will be among the panelists speaking at a town hall in Baton Rouge Thursday (Oct. 18) about preventing elder financial exploitation. The event will be held at Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence Blvd. Bartholomew, an expert in elder abuse prosecutions, will join other industry leaders and state officials in the discussion. For more information, click here:  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/events/town-hall-baton-rouge-la-preventing-elder-financial-exploitation/

Jury Convicts Slidell Man of Illegally Filming and Posting Sex Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 10, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Sean T. Bass, 42, of Slidell, guilty Tuesday (Oct. 9) of video voyeurism of sexual intercourse. Bass faces one to five years in jail.

Bass is accused of videotaping himself engaged in consensual sex with the victim at a residence in Mandeville in early 2017. The victim did not know about or consent to the recording. Bass then posted the video on a pornographic website without the victim’s knowledge or consent. Months later, a friend of the victim encountered the video online and notified the victim, who then filed a report.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.  Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Whitney Germany prosecuted it. The victim, who has since moved out of state because of this incident, gave emotional testimony. The jury deliberated about 20 minutes before returning a guilty verdict. Bass also has an open warrant and is pending extradition out of South Carolina for the same type of conduct.