FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2019
Marrero Man Found Guilty Of Aggravated Arson for Setting Cars On Fire In Covington
District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Shane Perez, 38, of Marrero, guilty Wednesday (Sept. 25) of Aggravated Arson. The charge usually carries a penalty of six to 20 years in prison but, due to his prior criminal history, the defendant is facing up to forty (40) years in prison when he is sentenced by District Judge Scott Gardner. The defendant has prior convictions for burglary, domestic abuse of a child, driving while intoxicated, and several batteries. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorneys Casey Dieck and Roy Burns, III.
In the early morning hours of September 21, 2017, the victim, her two daughters and her boyfriend awoke to the sound of a car alarm going off outside her Covington home. When the boyfriend went outside to investigate, he discovered that both his and the victim’s vehicles were in flames. The victim called emergency services and the residents evacuated the home as the flames spread from the completely destroyed vehicles to the home.
When law enforcement arrived at the scene, the victim informed them that Perez, her ex-boyfriend, had spent a week harassing her and had threatened to burn her and her boyfriend’s vehicles. These threats included several text messages, 147 calls, and 40 voicemails. Investigators were able to establish that Perez’s vehicle was in the area at the time of the arson and he was arrested the following day, September 22.
During the trial, the defense argued that the presence of the defendant near the site of the arson and his threats to burn the vehicles was a coincidence. “Mr. Perez, were you struck by lightning too?” Dieck asked the defendant in her closing arguments.
The jury voted unanimously on the guilty verdict after little over an hour of deliberation. The case was investigated by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.