May 20, 2019

Amite Couple Pleads Guilty to Abusing Woman with Disabilities

Raylaine Knope (42) and Terry J. Knope, II (45) pleaded guilty today (May 20, 2019) in the Eastern
District of Louisiana to criminal civil rights charges arising from their abuse of an adult woman with cognitive disabilities. Both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to obtain forced, unpaid household labor and services from the victim, who is identified only as “D.P.” Raylaine Knope also pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor and one count of misprision of a felony. Terry J. Knope II, also pleaded guilty to one count of violating D.P.’s federal Fair Housing Act rights, one count of a hate crime, and one count of misprision of a felony.

At the plea hearing, the defendants, who were married at the time of the offense, admitted that, between August 13, 2015, and June 30, 2016, in Amite, Louisiana, they conspired with each other and with other members of their family to obtain D.P.’s uncompensated household labor and services through a number of means, including by force, threats of force, and physical restraint.  Both defendants admitted that they forced D.P. to live in a locked backyard cage and to perform housework and yard work in exchange for food and water. The defendants admitted that they and their co-conspirators subjected D.P. to routine physical abuse, threats, and verbal and psychological abuse designed to ensure her continued compliance with the family’s orders. As examples of this abuse, the defendants admitted that Raylaine Knope once forced D.P. to eat D.P.’s deceased mother’s ashes, and Terry J. Knope II, intentionally burned D.P. with a cigarette lighter while another family member held D.P. in place so she could not escape. Raylaine Knope also admitted that she used this overarching abuse to obtain D.P.’s forced labor, and that she helped Terry J. Knope II, steal D.P.’s monthly federal disability benefits. Terry Knope further admitted that, because of D.P.’s disability, he forced D.P. to live in the locked backyard cage and shot her with a B.B. gun at close range, and that he also helped others produce methamphetamine on his property. 

Help STPSO Find These Runaway Teens


Obituary

George Lawerence Thompson
January 24, 1947 - May 16, 2019

Obituary

Amber Michelle Hawk
November 04, 1994 - May 19, 2019

Teen Gets Life For Shooting Death of Stepfather

District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that Daniel T. Hamilton (19) was sentenced
Monday (May 20, 2019) to life in prison for second degree murder for shooting his stepfather to death in their Covington home in 2016. District Judge Alan Zaunbrecher ordered that the sentence be served with the possibility of parole, based on new sentencing guidelines for offenders who were juveniles at the time of the crime.

“This was a heinous crime that was especially shocking because of the defendant’s age and relationship to the victim,” District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. “I am proud that my Assistant District Attorneys obtained justice on behalf of the victim’s family members. I hope they are now able to close this painful chapter of their lives.”

Zaunbrecher also sentenced Hamilton to 20 years in prison for each of two counts of solicitation for murder for planning to have the victim’s brother and sister-in-law killed. Hamilton was angry at the couple at the time because they had requested a revocation of his pre-trial bond after he was found in possession of a firearm in another parish. Zaunbrecher ordered one of the 20-year sentences to be served consecutive to the murder sentence; the other 20-year-sentence is to be served at the same time that Hamilton is serving the murder sentence.

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 19, 2019

Curtis Chatman was booked on the charge of Simple Battery of Infirm
Sarah Harris was booked on the charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, Possession of Marijuana (2nd Offense), and Possession of Schedule III Drugs
Ricky Myers was booked on the charge of Driving While Intoxicated
William McCrory was booked on the charges of No MVI, Driving Under Suspension, Proper Equipment Required, Resisting an Officer, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Attachment (2 counts)

Camper Trailer Fire in Mt. Hermon Claims One Life

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshall reported yesterday that their deputies are investigating a fire involving one death on Tate Road in Mt. Hermon.

Washington Parish Fire District #9 firefighters responded to a camper trailer fire call in the 39000 block of Tate Road in Mt. Hermon around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

One victim was discovered on the scene.

This investigation is on-going and more information will be released as it becomes available.

Homicide Suspect from Slidell Being Sought

The investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office into an apparent homicide in the Slidell
has resulted in arrest warrants being issued for the arrest of Jules Johnson (30) of Slidell.  The warrants are for Second Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Johnson should be considered armed and dangerous.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jules Johnson is asked to call the STPSO at (985)898-2338 or contact Detective Crabtree at (985)726-7839.

Sunday morning (May 19, 2019) shortly before 1:30 a.m., STPSO deputies responded to a report of a shooting at a business off of Salmen Street near Slidell. Deputies located a victim with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Today in History for May 20th

AP Top Stories May 20, 2019 AM

May 19, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 17-18, 2019

Michael Branch was booked on the charge of Protective Order Violation
Sonja Vaughan was booked on the charges of Issuing Worthless Checks 100-300 and Failure to Appear
Gage O'Keefe was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana, Speeding 11-20 Over Limit, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts)
Kamaurie Hart was booked on the charge of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction
Dayon Dyson was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (3rd Offense), Improper Lane Usage, Speed Unsafe for Road Conditions, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Cultivation or Production of Marijuana, Improper Turn/Accident, Expired License Plate, No Proof of Insurance, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Open Container in Vehicle
La Terek Toomer was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Tyson Smith was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery, Aggravated Domestic Abuse Assault, and Contempt of Court
Bobby Sartin was booked on the charge of Probation and Parole Hold

Today in History for May 19th

May 17, 2019

Obituary

Angie A. O'Bryant
June 01, 1922 - May 16, 2019

Wanted Man from Angie Captured

Bobby Oless Matthews, Jr. (49) of Angie became a fugitive when he fled from Washington Parish
Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies on April 12, 2019. Patrol Deputy Dalton Manning spotted a vehicle traveling at an excessive speed. Deputy Manning,  joined by Patrol Sergeant David Cupp, pursued the vehicle which fled at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The vehicle finally stopped in a ditch on Pearson Road. 

The driver, later identified as Matthews, fled on foot into adjacent woods. The Rayburn Correctional Center canine team responded and assisted deputies in their search for Matthews. They were unable to locate him, although they did track him to another road where it is assumed someone picked him up.

Inside the car Matthews had been driving, deputies discovered various narcotic pills in an unlabeled bottle. The car’s owner was identified and he later stated that he had loaned the car to Matthews earlier in the day. A warrant was obtained for Matthews' arrest.

Matthews remained a fugitive until yesterday (May 16, 2019) when he was spotted, arrested without incident and charged with possession of illegal narcotics, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer by flight on foot, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding and running a stop sign. Bond was set at $10,000.

Matthews has been jailed at least four previous times since 2006 on charges that include drug offenses, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated battery, criminal damage to property and failure to appear in court.

Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “Criminals can’t run forever. Sooner or later, we will find them. I’m so glad no one was injured during Matthews’ reckless driving episode and that he was eventually apprehended. Deputy Manning and Sgt. Cupp did an excellent job and all of us at WPSO are so grateful for the wonderful assistance we always receive from the staff at Rayburn Correctional Center.”

WPSO is Seeking Vehicle Thief

On Thursday (May 16, 2019) Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant Justin Blackwell
responded to a retail business north of Franklinton concerning the theft of a vehicle from the store’s parking lot.

The store manager stated she was retrieving shopping carts in the parking lot and noticed a person, who she believed to be a man, walking alongside the highway. The person was described as wearing a black hooded jacket, black pants, gloves and a white mask covering his or her face. Frightened by what she saw, the manager fled back into the store, locking the door behind her.

She then saw the person enter the parking lot and try to gain entry to her personal vehicle which was locked. The person then went to a nearby pickup truck, opened the door, went inside, cranked the truck, and then drove off in the direction of Mississippi. An alert was broadcast, but the truck was not located.

The owner of the pickup truck was shopping in the store and admitted that he left the truck unlocked with the keys in the ignition. He was later able to provide the vehicle identification number of the truck. The Sheriff’s Office continues to be on the lookout for the truck and has posted information on the nationwide criminal justice database.

“Whenever you park your vehicle, whether in a parking lot or at home, always remove the keys from the ignition and lock the vehicle,” cautioned Sheriff Randy Seal. “Thieves are always on the lookout for easy prey and an unlocked vehicle with keys inside is an easy target to steal. It is likely the pickup truck is far away from Washington Parish by now and I just hope it surfaces somewhere. As for the person in disguise, let this be a lesson to always be on the alert for any suspicious behavior. If you have cause to be concerned about someone’s appearance or behavior, call the Sheriff’s Office.”

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 16, 2019

Ashley Packwood was booked on the charge of Disturbing the Peace/Domestic Violence
Nina Hano was booked on the charges of Disturbing the Peace/Domestic Violence and Resisting an Officer
Roberta Barber was booked on the charge of Disturbing the Peace/Domestic Violence
James Dixon was booked on the charge of Probation and Parole Hold
Shandrieka Owens was booked on the charges of Possession of Stolen Property, Aggravated Obstruction of Commerce/Roadway, Hit and Run, and Aggravated Flight from an Officer
Gary Willis was booked In From Court
Bobby Matthews was booked on the charges of Speeding 11-20 Over Limit, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Ran Stop Sign, Leaving Scene of Accident, Resisting an Officer/Flight on Foot, and Possession of Schedule II Drugs
Tiffany Sharp was booked on the charge of Disturbing the Peace/Loud and Abusive Language
Agnes Moran was booked on the charge of Simple Battery
Tristen Jenkins was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Jacoby Dyson was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (2nd Offense), Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, and Driving With Suspended License Due to Previous DWI or Other

Today in History for May 17th

AP Top Stories May 17, 2019 AM

May 16, 2019

Covington Woman Gets Life For Raping Child

District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that Sandra E. Gaines (39) of Covington was
sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday (May 15, 2019) for repeatedly raping a child under age 13 with another adult over several years. District Judge William J. Burris issued the life sentence for each of two counts of aggravated rape and 25 years for each of three counts of sexual battery of a child under 13. The sentences are to be served at the same time.

Gaines was convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury in March after a three-day trial. Gaines’ longtime boyfriend, Robert Cardell Flowers (32), also of Covington, had been convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury on the same charges in June 2015, and he also is serving a life sentence.

The victim, now 18, testified during Gaines’ trial that Gaines and Flowers began touching her sexually when she was about 5 years old and that the abuse progressed and continued for several years through 2012. The victim testified that she was repeatedly raped during that time. Assistant District Attorney Jay Adair prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Michael Cochran. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

Morgan Brothers Jailed by Drug Task Force

Two Washington Parish brothers, Jimmy Ray Morgan (45), a resident of John D. Woods Road, and James Leon Morgan (55), a resident of Lawrence Creek Road, are in the Washington Parish Jail after
their arrest on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in the Hackley community north of Franklinton. The bond for each man has been set at $10,000.

While on patrol, a Washington Parish Sheriff's Office Drug Force detective observed James Leon Morgan throw a bag out of the window of the truck as the truck pulled into a parking lot. The bag was retrieved by detectives and contained methamphetamine, a glass smoking pipe and other drug paraphernalia.

During the arrest, James Leon Morgan was restrained without incident. Jimmy Ray Morgan, however, violently resisted the four detectives who were present, striking one of them in the head. Detectives restrained him and both Morgan brothers were transported to the Washington Parish Jail by uniformed patrol deputies who responded to the scene.

Jimmy Ray Morgan is charged with four counts of battery on a police officer, resisting a police officer with force or violence, possession of illegal narcotics and a traffic offense. James Leon Morgan is charged with possession of illegal narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of justice and littering.

“That,” said Sheriff Randy Seal, “is not what I would describe as a healthy family tradition. How sad that two brothers seem to have carved out a life involving illegal narcotics. I am so pleased our alert and pro-active narcotics detectives were able to make this arrest and get more illegal drugs out of our community.”

Obituary

Joseph "Joe" Hugh DeBlanc
June 20, 1946 - May 15, 2019

Obituary

Coach Bobby Lee Schneider, Sr.
October 30, 1932 - May 14, 2019

Bogalusa's Annual Budgetary Loan Request of $950,000 Approved

Today (May 16, 2019), the State Bond Commission approved the City of Bogalusa's application to issue a Revenue Anticipation Note not to exceed $950,000. On February 19, 2010, the Bogalusa City Council had approved an ordinance to issue the Revenue Anticipation Note and to seek approval from the State Bond Commission.

Mention was made at the hearing today that on February 18, 2019 the City of Bogalusa had been voted to be assigned a Fiscal Administrator, that steps are being taken to complete the process but that no fiscal administrator had been appointed.

Click here for background and video on this.

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 15, 2019

Aimee Hill was booked on the charge of Contempt of Court
Justin Morris was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery
Denise Smith was booked In From Court
Gary Colston was booked on the charges of probation Violation and Failure to Appear

Today in History for May 16th

AP Top Stories May 16, 2019 AM

May 15, 2019

STPSO to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoint this Weekend

Deputies from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office will conduct a sobriety checkpoint this
weekend at an undisclosed location in St. Tammany Parish. 

The manpower for this initiative is funded by a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

“We hope these checkpoints serve as a deterrent to drinking and driving,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “We ask our citizens to please make responsible decisions. If you choose to consume alcohol, don’t drive. Make a plan in advance. Have a non-drinking designated driver or call a cab.”

Obituary

Hildegard Mizell
April 25, 1934 - May 14, 2019

Obituary

Brisco H. Crain
July 10, 1930 - May 14, 2019

Driver Attempts to Avoid Arrest by Using False Name

Latita Robinson is the name she gave to Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant Jay Dupre when he stopped her at 6:15 a.m. on Highway 21 north of Bogalusa. That name and the date of birth she provided could not be located in the criminal justice database. Nevertheless, she continued to insist that was her actual name and date of birth.
Circumstances leading to her May 15, 2019 arrest began when Sgt. Dupre noticed an automobile with emergency flashers driving north on Highway 21 at an excessive rate of speed. Following a pursuit, the driver stopped. When Sgt. Dupre approached the vehicle,  he detected a strong odor of marijuana. The driver admitted there was marijuana in the vehicle, at which point Sgt. Dupre placed her in handcuffs and searched her car.

During the search, Sgt. Dupre discovered a bag of marijuana inside the center console and a small cigar containing marijuana which was located in a plastic ashtray. He also discovered part of a pill of Adderall, a controlled medication. The driver admitted the Adderall was hers and that she did not have a prescription.

Sgt. Dupre advised the woman she was under arrest and would be transported to the jail where her true identity would be revealed through fingerprints. Upon hearing this, the woman confessed that her actual name was Tharazun L. Armon, age 25, and that she was a resident of Dauphine Street in Bogalusa.

Once Armon arrived at the jail, she was booked on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of Schedule II drugs, speeding, driving under suspension and resisting arrest by providing false information. She remains in jail with her bond set at $5,000.

Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “This is yet another example of pro-active law enforcement. Sgt. Dupre’s patrol on Highway 21 yielded a good arrest and removed more illegal drugs from our community. Good job, Jay!”

WPSO Arrests Two - “They Weren't Washing Their Vehicle”

On May 13, 2019 at approximately 3:00 a.m., Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant Jay Dupre was traveling south of Bogalusa on Highway 1075 when he observed a red SUV, with headlights on, sitting in a wash bay at a car wash. Sgt. Dupre pulled in behind the vehicle which had a Mississippi license plate and was occupied by two persons.
As Sgt. Dupre exited his patrol unit and approached the suspect vehicle, he observed sudden activity by the driver and the placement of an item in the glove box. Both suspects, each of whom had a black bandana tied around their necks, exited their vehicle at the direction of Sgt. Dupre. When asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle, the female passenger stated there was a pistol in the glove box. At that time, WPSO patrol deputies James Gregorio and Chad Cassard arrived and both vehicle occupants were handcuffed.

Sgt. Dupre retrieved a loaded .22 caliber revolver from the glovebox. Then, after receiving permission from the owner to search the vehicle, deputies discovered crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The vehicle occupants were identified as Jonathon Wayne McCain (30) of Jenkins Road near Franklinton and Brittany Nicole Granier (29) of Stemens Street in Petal, Mississippi. McCain was further identified as a convicted felon who is on probation for previous offenses.

McCain was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation. His bond has been set at $50,000. Granier was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with a weapon present and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond has been set at $5,000.

Jail records indicate this is Granier’s first stay in the Washington Parish Jail. Records also indicate this is McCain’s 13th visit to the jail. His arrests began in July 2009, and have included a variety of charges including failure to appear in court, traffic violations, two separate arrests for driving while intoxicated, drug offenses, and being in possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

“This arrest is a good example of pro-active law enforcement,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Sgt. Dupre’s alert eye enabled him to spot criminal activity and take both illegal drugs and a loaded firearm out of our parish. I congratulate him, Deputy Gregorio and Deputy Cassard for a job well done. Once again, while honest citizens sleep in the comfort of their homes, criminals are out and about in our parish. That is, until our officers intercept them and escort them to jail.”

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 14, 2019

Shawda Brock was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Theft Less Than 1000, and Child Desertion
Tharazun Armon was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana, Special Restrictions on Lamps, Speeding 11-20 Over Limit, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and Resisting Arrest
Aaron Blackwell was booked In For Court
Jimmy Morgan was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Driving Left of Center/Crossing Center Line, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting a Police Officer With Force or Violence, and Battery on a Police Officer (4 counts)
James Morgan was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Littering, and Obstruction of Justice
Corterio Williams was booked on the charge of Contempt of Court
Jasmine Magee was booked on the charges of Disturbing the Peace/Drunkenness and Attachment (8 counts)

Today in History for May 15th

AP Top Stories May 15, 2019 AM

May 14, 2019

Obituary

Samuel "Sammy" Joe Prine
November 06, 1953 - May 12, 2019

Obituary

Edward Barber
December 25, 1929 - May 14, 2019

Obituary

Janie Foster Peters
January 25, 1945 - May 05, 2019

Bogalusa City Jail Bookings May 13, 2019

Myron Mark was charged with Failure to Appear "Bogalusa City Court", Criminal Damage to Property, and Criminal Trespass
Carlos Dillon was charged with Hit and Run, Reckless Operation of Motor Vehicle, Flight from an Officer, and Resisting an Officer
Bradford Lott was charged with Failure to Appear "Bogalusa City Court"
Tammy Wells Pierre was charged with Failure to Appear "Bogalusa City Court" and Theft
Elizabeth Barron was charged with Failure to Appear "Bogalusa City Court"
James Calvin Dixon, Jr. – charge(s) not provided

Senator Mizell Receives Award from CWA of Louisiana

State Senator Beth Mizell was awarded the Ambassador Award for Defense of Family by Concerned
Women for America (CWA) of Louisiana at a ceremony in Baton Rouge on May 8, 2019.

According to Sancha Smith, CWA of Louisiana State Director, “CWA believes that marriage consists of one man and one woman. We seek to protect and support the Biblical design of marriage and the gift of children. We have many pro-family legislators, but probably none more so than our recipient. Senator Beth Mizell serves as the Vice Chair for a Senate Select Committee on Women and Children, she has passed numerous bills to strengthen parental rights and bills to protect children from inappropriate content on the internet. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and on numerous boards addressing family issues.”

Each of the eight Ambassador Award recipients was asked to provide the name of the person that they would like to recognize as the person who has been their strongest encourager in the area for which they are being awarded. Upon receiving the award, Senator Mizell recognized her greatest encourager – her daughter, Julie Stewart. According to Mizell, her daughter was a stabilizing force following the death of Senator Mizell’s husband. Stewart is also her daily encourager regarding legislative issues and personal issues of life. Joining Senator Mizell was Tara Baudoin, representing Life Counseling and Coaching, as the sponsor for the Defense of Family Award.

The other Ambassador recipients included State Senator Ronnie Johns, Congressman Mike Johnson, State Representative Katrina Jackson, State Representative Beryl Amadee, Congressman Clay Higgins, State Representative Valarie Hodges, and Senator John Milkovich.

For more information about CWA, visit the web at www.concernedwomen.org.

WPSO Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest of Folsom Man for Meth

On May 2, 2019, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives arrested James Niel Swain (46) of Folsom on the charges of Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  His bond was set at $25,000 and he was released on May 6, 2019 after meeting the conditions of his bond.
Swain was stopped on Highway 438 for a traffic offense. After the traffic stop, Swain exited his vehicle, leaving the driver’s side door open. Officers approached the car and noticed a clear plastic bag containing methamphetamine in plain view on the floorboard. Officers then searched the vehicle, finding a bag on the rear seat that contained additional methamphetamine, a digital scale, and small clear plastic baggies commonly used to distribute illegal narcotics.

Sheriff Randy Seal complimented the narcotics officers for making the arrest. “Obviously, Mr. Swain felt he could drive up from St. Tammany and sell drugs in Washington Parish without any consequence. Not so. Our narcotics detectives continuously work throughout the parish to identify and arrest anyone who is involved in the illegal drug trade. This was a good arrest which took meth out of our community and put a drug dealer in jail where he belongs. If you are involved in the illegal drug trade in Washington Parish, you may be the next one to be placed in cuffs and transported to jail. Our jail is never too full. We always have room for one more.”

Obituary

Bonnie Mizell Hunt Dial
February 12, 1938 - May 11, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 13, 2019

Charles Stogner was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery and Domestic Abuse/Child Endangerment
Jonathon McCain was booked on the charge of Convicted Felon in Possession of Firearm
Brittany Granier was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of CDS With Weapon Present and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Roy Tillman was booked on the charge of Probation Violation
Ricky Applewhite was booked In For Court
Edward Polk was booked In For Court
Michael Crosby was booked In For Court

Today in History for May 14th

AP Top Stories May 14, 2019 AM