Lee pleaded guilty, as charged, to second degree murder and two counts of armed robbery and was sentenced by District Judge William H. Burris to life in prison. Rouse pleaded guilty to manslaughter and two counts of armed robbery, and Burris sentenced him to 100 years in prison—40 years on the manslaughter charge, which is to be served consecutively to 60 years on the armed robbery charges (60 years on each count to be served concurrently).
A third person, Melissa Smith (30) of Tylertown, MS. and the girlfriend of Rouse, pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and was sentenced by Burris to 20 years in prison on each count, to be served concurrently.
When Lee, Rouse, and Smith were identified, warrants were issued for their arrests, but they fled from the area before their apprehension. They picked up a juvenile from a Mississippi motel, and she accompanied them on their attempted escape. Law enforcement officials in Alabama spotted the group, engaged in a vehicle pursuit of them, and ultimately arrested them.
The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case, was able to recover one of the shotguns and pieces of the other one.
Lee and Rouse also are each facing two additional aggravated burglary charges in St. Tammany Parish. They are accused of entering a Covington home late one night just days before the Bogalusa robbery and holding a woman at gunpoint in her bedroom while they stole her valuables, including two shotguns. The shotguns matched the description of those used in the Bogalusa robbery.
Additionally, Lee pleaded guilty to aggravated arson for setting a fire in the Bogalusa jail, and Burris sentenced him to an additional 20 years in prison. That time is to be served concurrent to his life sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover prosecuted this case. The victim’s wife and daughter were consulted and agreed to the terms of the plea, and both gave impact statements before Burris during the hearing.