COVINGTON—–District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Joan Hartman, age 56 of Slidell, was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday, January 23rd, 2015. The twelve person St. Tammany Parish Jury deliberated nearly two hours before returning the guilty verdict to 22nd Judicial District Judge Scott Gardner. Assistant District Attorneys Jason Cuccia and Nick Noriea, Jr. were in charge of preparation and presentation of the State’s case in the 4 day trial.
Hartman was arrested in July 2012 by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after an adult female victim was stabbed to death. Hartman and the victim were arguing when Hartman stabbed the victim with a knife. Another person pulled Hartman away and began tending to the victim on the floor. Hartman stabbed the victim again causing her death.
Judge Gardner will sentence Hartman on Friday, January 30th, 2015. Manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment up to 40 years.
COVINGTON—-District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Bert Jones, age 24 of Slidell, pled guilty on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015, to two counts of forcible rape, 1 count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and 1 count of computer-aided solicitation of a minor. 22nd Judicial District Judge Raymond Childress sentenced Jones to 50 years in prison for each count of forcible rape, 20 years in prison for carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and 10 years in prison for computer-aided solicitation of a minor to be served concurrently. Assistant District Attorney John Alford was in charge of preparation and presentation of the State’s case.
The two female teenage victims and some family members and friends were present at the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, and supported the plea agreement. Judge Childress allowed the defendant to face the victims and apologize for his crimes.
Jones was arrested in February 2014 by the Slidell Police Department after one of the victims told her school counselor that she had been sexually assaulted. Jones passed himself off as a teenager while befriending the victims. Jones met one victim on social media and lured her to meet him before he sexually assaulted her. Jones and the other victim were out for a walk to a friend’s house when Jones sexually assaulted her.
Jones was sentenced as a career criminal due to a prior conviction for felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 2010. Forcible rape is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 5 years nor more than 40 years.
COVINGTON—-District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Prentice Wallace, age 31of Slidell, was found guilty on Thursday, January 15th, 2015, of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine. A twelve person St. Tammany Parish Jury deliberated an hour and a half before returning the guilty verdict to 22nd Judicial District Judge Allison Penzato. Wallace was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine before the Jury returned the responsive verdict of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Career Criminal Assistant District Attorney Nick Noriea, Jr. was in charge of preparation and presentation of the State’s case.
Wallace and Leo Charles, age 31 of Slidell, were arrested in September 2013 by the Slidell Police Department after Police observed a drug deal between persons in two vehicles. Charles and Wallace were in one vehicle making the drug sale when they sped away to avoid arrest. Charles drove the two across the twin spans to Orleans Parish at speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour while Officers pursued them. Officers observed baggies being thrown from the defendant’s vehicle during the chase. Charles crashed the car into the woods after exiting Interstate 10 at the Michoud Boulevard exit and the two fled on foot. Charles was arrested after the Slidell Police Department Canine Unit arrived. Wallace was arrested several days later on a warrant. A search of the vehicle revealed cocaine residue.
Lindsay Rolston, age 27 of Slidell, was the person in the other vehicle making the drug purchase. Rolston pled guilty to possession of alprazolam, a schedule IV drug, in May 2014 and was sentenced to 3 years probation.
Charles was found guilty in May 2014 of aggravated flight from an officer and aggravated obstruction of a highway and was sentenced to 35 years in prison as a career criminal. Charles has prior convictions for unauthorized use of a vehicle in 2003, attempted simple armed robbery in 2005, unauthorized use of a vehicle in 2007, and obstruction of justice in May 2012.
Judge Penzato will sentence Wallace at a multi-bill hearing scheduled in February 2015. Wallace could be sentenced as a career criminal due to prior convictions for possession of cocaine and 2 counts of distribution of cocaine.