Merrill Jeanne Carroll Redmond
January 02, 1947 - July 28, 2021
District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Thursday, July 22, 2021, Robert Allen Wilson, age 38 and of Slidell, was sentenced by Judge William H. Burris to a total of 200 years in prison for sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13, 1 count of production of pornography involving a juvenile under 13 and 10 counts of possession of pornography involving a juvenile under thirteen. A twelve-person jury had found the defendant guilty of the charges on June 3, 2021 following a 3-day trial.
Judge Burris ordered that the counts be run consecutive to one another for a combined total of 200 years in the department of corrections. In addition, because the defendant lost control at sentencing and cursed at the Judge, he was ordered to serve another 6 months for Contempt of Court, to run consecutive to the other charges.
The sexual battery took place on March 27, 2018 and was discovered on May 9, 2018 when the defendant’s ex-girlfriend stumbled upon evidence of it while looking through the defendant’s cell phone.
During its investigation, law enforcement conducted a forensic examination of the defendant’s phone and found videos of the defendant touching the victim inappropriately as she slept, as well as numerous other videos of juvenile pornography.
The minor victim wrote an impact statement which was read in open court and her grandparents thanked the Court and the D.A.’s Office. Assistant District Attorneys Iain Dover and Luke Lancaster prosecuted the case.
The Washington Parish Council met Monday (July 26, 2021) evening for the first time in the newly-renovated Council Chambers at the Washington Parish Courthouse in Franklinton, Louisiana. Prior to the meeting, attendees were served refreshments and viewed the improvements.
The bulk of the meeting consisted of an appeal of the Planning Commission decision to approve a conditional use permit for a gun range on Lon Miley Road in Angie. Both sides were heard and the Council upheld the decision by the Planning Commission. (See the video beginning 6:50)
In other business, the Council
Washington Parish Clerk of Court Johnny Crain, Jr. came before the Council, commending the Council on modernization of the Courthouse facilities and expressing his appreciation for all that the Council and Parish Government does. Crain also announced that Court Opening will be on September 10, 2021 and invited all to attend. (See the video beginning at 1:10:10)
During the President’s Report (See the video beginning at 1:14:00), Parish President Richard N. Thomas, Jr. remarked on the Council Chambers improvements, described efforts to put together a mental health system better than what is available now, described efforts to improve broadband availability, and announced that COVID-19 cases have increased in the parish and is going up every day. Reports were then provided by Finance Director Donna Graham, Public Works Director Ken Wheat, and Transportation Supervisor Donnell Merritt.
Lawrence Allen (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charges of Principals and Aggravated Assault With a Firearm by the Franklinton Police Department. Released on $2500.00 bond.
Ronald Hicks (Pearl River, Ms. address) was booked on the charge of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction by the Louisiana State Police. No bond set at this time.
Clyde Smith (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Trevonne Mingo (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana (3rd Offense), Possession of Schedule 1 Drugs (2 counts), Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Resisting an Officer, and Obstruction of Justice/Evidence Tampering by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $5000.00.
Sidney Ricks, III (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse/Child Endangerment and Domestic Abuse Battery by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced yesterday (July 27, 2021) that the first segment of the LA 3241 corridor project was let on July 21, 2021. Brown Industrial Construction, LLC presented the apparent low bid of $45,964,769.53.
This first segment of the LA 3241 project will construct a new four-lane highway between LA 40/LA 41 and LA 435 in St. Tammany Parish. The second segment is scheduled to let later this year, and the third segment is scheduled to be let in 2023 and is already fully funded. After all segments are complete, the project will ultimately consist of a four-lane highway between LA 40/LA 41 in Bush and Interstate 12. Scroll down for a map of the project.
The long awaited LA 3241 project began in 1989 when voters approved a 4-cent increase to the gas tax in order to fund Act 16 of the 1989 legislature and is the 15th of the 16 projects authorized. District 5 State Representative Malinda White pointed out that, by connecting Washington and St. Tammany parishes to Interstate 12, “we can look for future economic development and growth in the Northshore Region of Louisiana."
District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Michael Lee Reynolds, age 57 and from Slidell, pleaded guilty on Friday (July 23, 2021) to second degree rape of victim under age 13, 2 counts of molestation of victims under age 13, 36 counts of production of pornography involving juvenile victims under 13 and 35 counts of possession of pornography involving juvenile victims under 13.
He was sentenced today (July 26, 2021) by District Judge Richard Swartz to 40 years on the 2nd degree rape charge, 40 years on each of the two molestation charges, 20 years on each of the production and possession of child pornography charges, all sentences to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
This case began with a tip from Homeland Security to the Attorney General’s Office that the defendant was discussing child abuse and sharing explicit photographs online of two very young girls. Online he stated “I played with my daughter from age 9-14 and I’ve tried my 3-year-old granddaughter….”
During the ensuing investigation, forensics discovered lewd images on the defendant’s mobile phone of the two victims and the defendant later admitted engaging in various sex acts with the children and taking photos of the sex acts and sharing them online. The victims were half-sisters ages 2 and 4 at the time of the investigation.
A sentencing hearing was conducted with one of the victims appearing via Zoom. In her Victim Impact Statement she said to the defendant, “You underestimated us; you don’t deserve to know that we are thriving and I won’t waste another second of my breath on you.”
Assistant District Attorney Whitney Germany prosecuted the case and stated, “the mother of the children is very satisfied with the plea and is glad her children, who are in counseling and doing well now, do not have to go through a trial.”
“Thank you to Homeland Security, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office for their concerted efforts to put this predator behind bars for the rest of his life,” D.A. Montgomery said.
St. Helena District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux reports that 30-year-old Dana Williams of Franklinton has been found guilty of first-degree murder, first degree feticide with specific intent to kill, and attempt first degree murder.
On August 30, 2017, St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to 208 Pistol Womack Lane regarding a shooting. Upon arriving to the scene, officer noticed a silver sedan that appeared to have bullet holes on the outside of the vehicle and a deceased woman in the passenger seat. The deceased victim was later identified as Angelica Leray who was determined to be six months pregnant.
According to witness testimony, Angelica Leray was leaving work at Hatfields Grocery when Delvecio Torrence picked her up from her shift. Torrence testified that he noticed suspicious activity, including being followed by an unlicensed, unlit silver car. The unusual activity observed by Torrence raised concern causing him to drive immediately home. As Torrence turned on to Pistol Womack Lane, the suspicious vehicle pulled up beside Torrence and began to shoot at the vehicle causing the death of Leray and her unborn child. Torrence sustained a gunshot wound to his lower left abdomen. Torrence was transported to the St. Helena Parish Hospital to seek medical treatment. After being questioned by authorities, Torrence named Williams as the suspect. The autopsy confirmed Leray’s cause of death was due to three gunshot wounds sustained to the left side of the body, including the upper back, lower chest, and thigh.
The jury of six women and six men deliberated for approximately three hours before returning unanimous verdicts on all counts. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Taylor Anthony. Anthony stated, “Justice does not always mean that someone must spend the rest of their life in jail, but in this case, it does. Dana Williams committed one of the most heinous acts a man can commit when he fired a barrage of gunshots into a car, killing his ex-girlfriend and their unborn child, and shooting another innocent man in his stomach. I appreciate the jury’s verdict in this case as it sends a clear message to the community that this behavior will not be tolerated. I pray that the family and friends of Ms. Angelica Leray can find peace knowing that the man who took her life will now spend the rest of his behind prison walls.”
Dana Williams is scheduled for sentencing on December 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM in front of the Honorable Judge Charlotte Foster.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has advised of updates to safety protocols to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Effective Monday, July 26, 2021, facial coverings will be required inside all Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles locations. In addition to wearing masks, visitors are reminded to follow social distancing guidelines and stay at least six feet from others while inside OMV field offices.
The updated safety protocols follow the increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout Louisiana and reflect the latest guidelines from state health officials. If a customer does not have a mask, one will be provided. “Public safety is our priority. We must take the necessary precautions to protect the health of our customers and employees,” OMV Commissioner Karen St. Germain stated.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is reminding customers to utilize the free LA Wallet app when possible. LA Wallet allows eligible customers to request a duplicate driver’s license and renew their current driver’s license. Additionally, customers are encouraged to check www.expresslane.org to find out if they can complete their transaction online before visiting an OMV field office.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles continues to work closely with state officials to provide a safe environment for all visitors. The agency appreciates the public’s cooperation and understanding at this time.
On Saturday, July 24, 2021, shortly after 8:15 PM, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal crash on US 190 near North Tranquility Road in St. Tammany Parish. The crash claimed the life of a bicyclist. The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending proper notification to next of kin.
The initial investigation revealed that a bicyclist was traveling westbound on US 190. At the same time, a 2021 Kia K5, driven by Andre Damiens III of Lacombe, was traveling westbound on US 190. For reasons still under investigation, the Kia K5 struck the bicyclist. After impacting the bicyclist, Damiens fled the scene. During the investigation, Troopers identified Damiens as the hit and run driver.
The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet, sustained fatal injuries, and was pronounced deceased on the scene. As part of the ongoing investigation, a toxicology sample was obtained from the deceased for analysis. After locating Damiens, Troopers arrested and transported Damiens to a nearby facility where he provided a breath sample that tested over the legal limit. After the breath test, Troopers booked Damiens into the St. Tammany Parish Jail for Vehicular Homicide, Hit and Run, and Careless Operation. This crash remains under investigation.
Sandi Shocket (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charges of Resisting by Flight/Aggravated Flight, Resisting an Officer (2 counts), Driving Under Suspension, and Public Intimidation by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $7500.00.
Ritchie Martin (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charges of Simple Battery and Criminal Trespass by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $3500.00.
William Stewart (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Failure to Seek Assistance and Cruelty to Infirm by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $40000.00 bond.
Kenyatta Scott (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Illegal Carrying of Weapon, Carrying Firearm/Weapon on School Property, and Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released on $75000.00 bond.
Kelly Gros (Mt. Hermon, La. address) was booked on the charge of Failure to Return Rental Property by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $5000.00 bond.
Tony Neal (New Market, Al. address) was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation and Domestic Abuse/Child Endangerment by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Environmental conditions are forecasted to become a bit more favorable for development of the low pressure system located about 200 miles east of Daytona Beach, Florida. A tropical depression could form over the next day or so while the low meanders offshore of the Florida Peninsula. Formation chance through 48 hours now stands at 60% and formation chance through 5 days is also at 60%.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in gathering information related to a shooting that occurred on July 19, 2021 on Avenue E in Kentwood. During the shooting, a TPSO Unit was struck by several rounds causing damage to both front windows, the driver's side mirror, and the rear passenger side door.
The video attached shows a small, light colored SUV closely resembling a Jeep Compass, traveling north on Eleventh St., then stopping at the intersection of Eleventh St. and Avenue E. At the same time, a dark colored vehicle resembling a Dodge Charger was traveling westbound on Avenue E. As the dark colored vehicle proceeded westbound through the intersection, a subject armed with an assault rifle exited the rear driver's side of the light colored SUV, and began shooting at the dark colored vehicle.
No one was injured as a result of the incident.
Anyone who is able to provide information related to this incident or can identify any of the occupants of these vehicles is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa, Inc. at (800) 554-5245 or the TPSO at (985) 345-6150. Sergeant Kirby Varnado is the lead investigator.
U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Edd Scafidel, Jr., age 62 and of Ponchatoula, was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment by United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon after previously pleading guilty as charged to an Indictment charging him with receiving images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including children as young as approximately one (1) year old. Additionally, Judge Fallon ordered that Scafidel serve a five-year period of supervised release and register as a sex offender after he is released from prison, Judge Fallon also scheduled a restitution hearing in the matter on September 16, 2021.
According to court documents, in about November 2018, a complainant knowledgeable with Scafidel's actions reported to Special Agents with the FBI that Scafidel possessed electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children. After further investigation, the FBI obtained a search warrant for Scafidel's residence and the search on December 4, 2018 revealed that he possessed a leather pouch that contained, among other items, two electronic storage devices that contained files depicting the sexual exploitation of children. In total, Scafidel downloaded and saved at least 22,334 images depicting the sexual victimization of children, including children less than one year old. Among the files Scafidel searched for, downloaded, and stored were some that portrayed “sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” Specifically, at least one image portrayed the sexual penetration of a conscious, bound prepubescent female.
District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Jonathon David Talley, age 40 from Pearl River, Louisiana (in previous press released Talley was reported to be from Bogalusa), pleaded guilty in front of District Judge Scott Gardner on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The plea was approved by the victim’s family. Talley pled guilty to manslaughter, second degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was billed as a multiple offender and sentenced to 65 years for manslaughter, 65 years for second-degree kidnapping and 40 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
In July of 2016, the defendant shot and killed his girlfriend. After killing the victim, the defendant kidnapped their then-three-year-old child and fled to Mississippi where he was ultimately apprehended.
This case was first tried in 2018 and Talley was found guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. However, the murder and kidnapping were non-unanimous verdicts and those two counts were remanded to the District Court for a new trial pursuant to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana.
The plea was designed to give an effective life sentence to the defendant, to spare the victim’s now 7-year-old son from testifying against his father for a second time, and to provide finality and closure to the victim’s family. The mother of the victim provided a moving impact statement prior to sentence being imposed; she is now raising her grandson.
Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Chkautovich prosecuted the case. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the victim’s family for their cooperation, participation, and support through during the five years that this case has been pending. Detective Matthew Rowley of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office spearheaded the investigation of this case.
Orrin Thomas (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Leaving Scene of Accident, Criminal Damage, and Expired Drivers License by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $5000.00.
Trevor Honaker (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Simple Battery and Domestic Abuse Battery (3rd Offense) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Anthony Alexius (Loranger, La. address) was booked on the charge of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.
A trough of low pressure is located just offshore of the southeastern United States coastline. Environmental conditions now appear marginally conducive for some additional development during the next couple of days while the system drifts offshore of the southeastern United States. Formation chance through 48 hours is at 30% and formation chance through 5 days is also at 30%.
Bogalusa resident Bob Nielson spoke to the Bogalusa City Council Tuesday (July 20, 2021) regarding the establishment of halfway houses in residential areas (See the video beginning at 15:35). Persons completing drug rehab are apparently being transitioned to halfway houses. It was pointed out that the success rate of rehab is 30%. Concerns are that the remaining 70% causes drug users, many with criminal records, being relocated to residential areas. Nielson requested the Council to put an immediate stop to placement of halfway houses in residential areas. Councilman Kellis responded that the Council was already looking into the issue and consulting their legal counsel. Other Council Members later commented on the issue, including comments by Councilwoman Kates who related information from the Bogalusa Police Department that they had recently responded to incidents involving a halfway house already in operation. Those incidents included unwanted patients who needed to move on (10), disturbing the peace (6), medical assistance needed (4) and theft (1). Resident Benjamin Lewis spoke of the need for halfway houses.
In other business, the Council held Public Hearings and approved three ordinances.
Mayor Wendy Perrette submitted three names, all of whom were approved by the Council, to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission. They were Patricia Holmes, Justin Arnold, and Shelby Scianna. Perrette also commended three officers for their efforts recently in saving a woman in a submerged vehicle: Police Officer Brandon McBride along with Taylor Williams and Dustin Stringer of the Bogalusa Fire Department. Following further comments from the Mayor and Council Discussion, the meeting adjourned.
The next Council Meeting will be held Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.
On June 27, Pearl River Police Officers responded to a disturbance in which Shane Siemssen (age 29) reportedly pointed a gun at another individual during a verbal argument. As Officers arrived, Siemssen fled on a motorcycle and led Officers on a dangerous, high speed chase which Officers canceled for public safety reasons. While Pearl River Police Detectives were obtaining arrest warrants for Siemssen, they learned that he was a convicted felon and was currently on probation.
On July 19, Pearl River Police Officers received information that Siemssen was at a residence in Pearl River and conducted surveillance. After confirming Siemmssen was inside the residence, Officers made entry and apprehended him. Pursuant to a search warrant of the residence, Officers located a firearm with an obliterated serial number, three bags containing a large amount of multi colored pills believed to be MDMA (ecstasy), a bag containing crystal meth, a digital scale and approximately $300 in U.S. currency.
Siemssen was charged with Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and multiple possession with the intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances charges.
Siemssen’s probation officer was notified of the charges
In December of 2019, a citizen reported to police that she saw Darby in the Northlake Nature Center off of Hwy 190 in Mandeville, sitting on the tailgate of his parked truck, facing traffic, with no pants on, engaged in a lewd act. When police arrived Darby was nude from the waist down.
Darby claimed to police that he had been jogging and fell and that his shorts were wet and dirty and he’d stopped in the park to put on different pants. He gave police permission to get his “green pants” so that he could put them on. Upon entering the truck to get the pants, police found green shorts and they were not wet or dirty. Sitting on top of the pants was a meth pipe and a lighter.
Darby was placed under arrest and when police further inspected the truck they also found a bottle of lotion on the backseat (above the pipe, lighter and shorts) and noted that there was lotion all over the interior of the front and rear doors, door handles and the interior of the tailgate.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Iain Dover and Patricia Amos. Darby faces up to 3 years in prison when sentenced on September 23, 2021. Sgt. Alex Dantagnan and Corporal Cristen Graham of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.
On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, around 6:00 PM, the Covington Police Department was called to the area of North Filmore Street and Schoultz Ally where officers discovered one victim who was injured in the shooting. The injured victim was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The Covington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division developed a suspect, Jonathan Bagnet (age 27) and an arrest warrant has been issued for Bagnet’s arrest for First Degree Murder. CPD has reached out to the US Marshals Task Force for assistance in locating Jonathan Bagnet.
Also, Terry Garrett Jr. (age 24) is reported to be a person of interest in this shooting.
If any members of the public have information about the shooting, or the whereabouts of Jonathan Bagnet we ask that you contact the Covington Police Department at 985-892-8500. You can also call Crimestoppers where you can remain anonymous and possibly earn a cash reward by calling 504-822-1111.
Trenton Adams (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charge of Probation Violation by Probation and Parole. No bond set at this time.
Torrence Reed (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs and Aggravated Battery by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $1500.00 bond.
Otis Hart (Franklinton, La. address) was booked on the charges of Failure to Appear and Speeding 21-30 Over Limit by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $500.00 bond.
Dustin Bailey (Bogalusa, La. address) was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
A broad trough of low pressure located over southern Georgia is expected to move off of the southeastern United States coastline by Friday. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some gradual development over the weekend and into early next week while the system drifts slowly offshore of coastal North and South Carolina. Formation chance through 48 hours is at 10% and formation chance through 5 days is at 30%.