FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2018
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Ronald D. Moore, Jr., 26, of Lacombe, guilty Thursday evening of first degree rape and aggravated burglary for breaking into a Mandeville woman’s home and raping her last year. Moore faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison when he appears before District Judge Peter Garcia for sentencing on Sept. 17.
Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and William Macke argued during the trial, which began Monday with jury selection, that Moore was a stranger to the then 53-year-old victim and that this was a crime of opportunity. The victim, who lived alone in Old Mandeville, testified that she had fallen asleep on the sofa and was awakened about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2017, by Moore, who was standing over her and fondling her.
She initially fought him, 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 left her home and picked up a friend, who accompanied her 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 Moore, who matched the victim’s description. When an image from the video was publicized, a caller identified Moore.
Officers identified two people, seen on video holding a conversation with Moore, who was wearing a ripped shirt. They testified that Moore had told them a girl had left him stranded at a bar and that he offered them $5 to give him a ride to an address in Lacombe. Moore ultimately was arrested at that address. DNA evidence, matched to Moore, also was found on the victim.
In statements to police, Moore remembered being at the bar, which is located near the victim’s home. He also said he recalled getting a ride home, but he claimed he could not remember what happened during the hours between those times.
The jury deliberated about two hours before finding Moore guilty as charged.