February 28, 2021
February 27, 2021
An inmate in the St. Tammany Parish Jail was found unresponsive by deputies after apparently hanging himself in his cell late Thursday (February 25, 2021) night. The inmate was found hanging at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the isolation cell where he was being held.
Jail staff removed the ligature from the inmate’s neck, immediately began CPR and contacted medical personnel. Deputies continued life saving measures until an ambulance arrived. The inmate, who had a pulse, was transported to a local area hospital, where on Friday (February 26, 2021) he died.
Out of respect to the family, the name of the inmate is being withheld, pending notifications.
The incident is under investigation and no additional information will be provided at this time.
Ernest Lester was booked on the charges of Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, Criminal Trespass, and Disturbing the Peace/Drunkenness by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Phillip Fowler was booked on the charges of Attempted Criminal Trespass, Resisting a Police Officer With Force or Violence, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Clotile Tompkins was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Roy Burnthorn was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Schedule III Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
February 26, 2021
Today (February 26, 2021), Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Randall Garcia responded to a complaint north of Franklinton of a male going house to house asking for water or a ride and attempting to enter one house before being rejected by the homeowner who called in the complaint.
While in the vicinity of Old Columbia Road and Jenkins Road, Deputy Garcia encountered a male fitting the description he had been given. While being patted down for weapons, the man resisted and attempted to pull away from the deputy. At this time he was restrained and placed in handcuffs. A search of the man’s pockets revealed a quantity of illegal drugs.
Phillip Fowler, age 51 and a resident of Bateman Road, was arrested, transported to the Washington Parish Jail and booked on charges of attempted criminal trespass, resisting an officer with force or violence and possession of illegal drugs.
Fowler has three previous stays in the Washington Parish Jail. In 2008, he was jailed for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. He was jailed again in 2014 on two counts of failure to appear in court. He was arrested again in 2020 and charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, resisting an officer and failure to appear in court.
“This is a good lesson for all of our residents,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Always lock your residence, whether you are inside or away from home, and never open the door to a stranger. Common sense dictates that we be on guard at all times for persons who might be engaging in criminal behavior.”
“We are honored to have hosted a tour this week with the Executive Director of The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, Brian Davis and Director of Development & Membership, William Prince to conduct preliminary visits to our landmarks that will be included on the historic site tour being held Saturday, October 16, 2021.
The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation has selected Washington Parish as its next RAMBLE location. “The LTHP Ramble is a unique educational experience to see and learn about the different parts of Louisiana's historic character.” Two rambles are held each year, and we are honored that the non-profit group has selected our area to give the opportunity for others to learn about our communities history and preservation efforts.
“The tour will welcome history buffs, teachers, and student groups from all corners of the state to our community to discover the history and architecture of our own backyard.”
Some sites may be sites that are not usually open to the public, so we are hoping to draw in locals, as well as tourists from all around the state and beyond to visit our area and learn about our rich history.
Specials thanks to all those who have agreed to allow a visit on their site. We are thrilled to put our town on display.”
Bogalusa Historic Cultural District is also asking for volunteers to assist with the ramble. (Greeters, etc). If you can help, email SaveBogalusa@bellsouth.net. The ramble is scheduled for October 16 2021.
If you are planning to enroll your student in a WP school for the 2021-2022 school year, it is recommended that your student take the LEAP now rather than testing later for enrollment. All students are welcome to test, even if you plan to continue homeschooling during the 2021-2022 school year.
Please contact the school in your district before April 7, 2021 if your student will participate in LEAP this spring.
The Washington Parish 4-H Ambassadors are looking to help ease your Easter stress by pre-filling all of the Easter eggs you need for your family activities! Priced at $6 per dozen and $1 per Golden Egg, it's a good deal and a worthy cause. For questions, call Beth Putnam at 985.839.7855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click “Read more” below for the order form.
February 25, 2021
On February 19, 2021 the Amite City Police began an investigation of a theft that occurred at Wal Mart in Amite. Investigators learned that the person pictured here took items from the business and exited the store without rendering payment for the items.
After exiting the store the male placed the items into a black vehicle and left the area.
“If you have information on this case please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1.800.554.5245 or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com and click on the P3 Tips icon or Submit A Tip! Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000! “
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office held its annual surplus auction last month, which resulted in record sales for the agency. Interested parties were able to register and bid on 378 lots/items online. Items consisted of a wide variety of vehicles, tools, furniture, kitchen equipment, computers, office supplies and other items. Auction lots were items from various divisions from within the STPSO, as well as items forfeited by seizure.
Auction sales generated $374,503, which will be used to replace outdated surplus with new equipment. Even in lieu of Covid-19, the funds generated from this year’s sale were the most ever generated from a surplus auction held by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“I would like to thank area businesses and members of the general public who participated in our annual auction, making it a huge success,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “It is always my priority to be a good steward of taxpayer funds while looking for innovative ways to ensure our deputies have the most the up-to-date equipment.”
Only eight days after his release from the Washington Parish Jail, Ernest Joseph Lester, III (38) went back to jail today (February 25, 2021) on new charges. Lester, a resident of Mt. Pisgah Road in the Mt. Hermon area, entered a parish residence wearing no shirt and no pants while a woman and her children were inside waiting on her husband to return home from work. Lester harmed no one, but simply sat down on the couch and covered himself with a blanket.
After repeatedly telling Lester to leave, the woman called the Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Randall Garcia responded. Garcia arrested Lester and transported him to the Washington Parish Jail where he was booked on charges of unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling, criminal trespass and disturbing the peace.
Lester’s five previous jail stays began in 2006 and include domestic violence battery, disturbing, theft (3 counts), possession of illegal drugs (6 counts), possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal trespass, a traffic offense, criminal damage to property, attempted burglary of a religious building, fugitive from another jurisdiction (3 counts), domestic abuse with strangulation, aggravated assault on a dating partner, and battery.
“Obviously, this is a troubled young man,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “He needs help in a big way. Otherwise, I fear he is destined for a bleak future with even more arrests and more time behind bars. Thanks, Deputy Garcia, for responding so quickly and removing Lester from this residence.”
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, shortly after 2:00 pm, Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal crash on LA 436 east of LA 62 in Washington Parish. The crash claimed the life of 67-year-old Clayton L. Jenkins of Angie.
The initial investigation revealed that Jenkins was operating a 1984 Honda ATV on private property on the side of LA 436. For reasons still under investigation, Jenkins entered LA 436 directly in front of an eastbound 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse impacted Jenkins causing him to be ejected off of his ATV.
Jenkins was not wearing a protective helmet and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office and impairment is not suspected to be a causal factor in the crash. As part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken from Jenkins as well as the driver of the Chevrolet Traverse for scientific analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind ATV operators about the importance of not riding on public roadways with off-road-only type vehicles. Information about Louisiana State Law regarding ATV operation on public roadways can be found at http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=88237.
Rayford Goings was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $1342.00.
Tiffany Thomas was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Schedule III Drugs, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, and Fugitive Other Jurisdiction by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $25000.00.
Blair Dibenedetto was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule III Drugs, and Possession of Schedule IV Drugs by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $50000.00.
David Carlson was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, and Possession of Schedule IV Drugs (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $50000.00.
February 24, 2021
On February 23, 2021, around 5:15 p.m., TPSO was notified of a female with a gunshot wound inside a residence on Highway 1058 in Roseland. When deputies arrived at the scene, they discovered 49-year-old Christy Lee Jones dead inside of her home. The incident is believed to have taken place shortly before TPSO received the call.
Jason Saizan reportedly told detectives that he shot and killed his ex-wife during a dispute inside the Highway 1058 home. Jason Saizan was subsequently arrested for second-degree murder.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal
boating incident that occurred in Washington Parish yesterday (February 23, 2021). The body of Virgil Page Jr., age 60 and of Angie, was recovered from the Pearl River.
LDWF agents were alerted about a boating incident around noon and that a man that went over board. Agents responded the scene and learned from a witness that a 14 foot boat was unmanned and circling a man face down in the water.
The LDWF Enforcement Division will be the leading investigative agency for this fatal boating incident. It is unknown at this time what caused the man to be ejected from the boat. Page Jr.’s body was turned over to the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. Page Jr. was recovered wearing a non-approved personal flotation device.
- Walter E. Smith, 76, a resident of Highway 62, was booked on a charge of distribution of illegal drugs. Smith was arrested previously in 2018 for obstruction of justice.
- Martin R. Winder, Jr., 40, a resident of G. T. Stewart Road, also was arrested on February 23 charged with conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs. He has one previous arrest in 2019 when he was charged with terrorizing and violation of a protective order.
- Charlotte Jarrell Branch, 57, a resident of Avenue F in Bogalusa. She was booked on three counts of distribution of illegal drugs. She has previous arrests in 2016 and 2019 for four counts of possession of illegal drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic offenses.
- Chasity Branch, 24, a resident of Henry Miley Road. She was booked on three counts of distribution of illegal drugs.
- Blair Elizabeth Dibenedetto, 27, a resident of Martin Lake Drive in Baton Rouge, was charged with three counts of possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of illegal drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
- David Oscar Carlson, 32, a resident of Martin Lake Drive in Baton Rouge, was charged with two counts of possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of illegal drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Tiffany Ann Thomas, 32, a resident of Squirrel Alley near Franklinton, was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs, three counts of possession of illegal drugs, and being a fugitive from another jurisdiction. Thomas has a lengthy arrest record from 2006 - 2018 for numerous offenses, including three counts of distribution of illegal drugs, two counts of possession of illegal drugs, two counts of driving while intoxicated, five counts of failure to appear in court, two counts of contempt of court, theft, simple escape, introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, various financial crimes and various traffic offenses.
“These are the tip of the iceberg,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Our drug task force, along with our patrol deputies and investigators, are throughout our parish daily seeking those who flagrantly violate our laws with no regard for the honest citizens of our parish. We are obligated to enforce the laws of our state and that is exactly what we will do.”
Yesterday (February 23, 2021), Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Sergeant David Cupp arrested Dustin Keith Stein, age 38 and a resident of Highway 436, and jailed him on charges of domestic abuse battery and false imprisonment.
Stein has at least eight previous arrests in Washington Parish that include charges of domestic abuse with strangulation (2 counts), false imprisonment while armed with a weapon (2 counts), aggravated battery, aggravated assault, simple battery (2 counts), failure to appear in court, criminal trespass, possession of drug paraphernalia, battery of a dating partner, battery of the infirmed, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, failure to honor a written promise (2 counts), domestic abuse battery, contempt of court, possession of illegal drugs, theft of a motor vehicle, criminal damage to property and a traffic offense.
“Sounds like this young man is determined to go to the penitentiary,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “I don’t know what motivates him, but it certainly isn’t love and respect for others. I appreciate Sgt. Cupp’s quick response to protect this young lady from further harm.”
Entergy Louisiana, LLC has restored power to customers in Louisiana who can safely receive it after extremely cold temperatures and back-to-back winter storms that brought freezing rain and ice significantly impacted the company’s electric system.
“Our communities once again remained resilient in the face of severe weather and unprecedented challenges,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “I want to thank our customers for being patient and keeping safety at the forefront as many in our workforce braved the elements to make repairs or replace electric equipment to restore power following the winter storms.”
While south Louisiana bore the brunt of the first winter storm, central and north Louisiana were harder hit by the second. Ice accumulation sagged or downed trees, limbs and power lines, causing damage to the company’s electric system. The additional weight of ice caused trees and limbs to fall into power lines and other electric equipment. A storm team of more than 4,000 worked quickly and, above all, safely to restore power throughout a week that saw recurring outages due to limbs falling after severe weather passed and issues with cold load pickup. Crews oftentimes had to energize a power line in sections rather than all at once to avoid damaging the electric system through instantaneous demand. For more information on how the company restores power in extremely cold weather, visit the Entergy Storm Center.
Resolutions were approved to assist the Town of Franklinton, Village of Varnado, and the Village of Angie at the meeting of the Washington Parish Council Monday (February 22, 2021) evening. The resolutions were in the form of Intergovernmental Agreements to assist the entities with labor and equipment. A similar resolution was approved to assist the City of Bogalusa at the last meeting of the Parish Council.
In other business, the Council
- approved a resolution to facilitate the council chambers renovation project not to exceed $125,000
- heard a report from Entergy representative Patrick Hamby on progress to reduce the noise levels at the power plant near Bogalusa. See our report and the video at https://www.mthermonwebtv.com/2021/02/entergy-report-to-wp-council-on-power.html
- heard from Frankie Crosby (beginning at 18:15 into video of the meeting) regarding Community Cleanup Day scheduled for March 27th, an informational seminar on expungements on March 20th hosted by District Attorney Warren Montgomery, and a bicycle parade for Easter weekend that is being planned
- heard a report from President Richard Thomas (beginning at 27:45 into video of the meeting) regarding the severe weather last week, an update on COVID-19 deaths, positivity rates, and vaccinations in the parish, and recognition of Robert “Bob” Hicks day
- heard a reports from Finance Director Donna Graham (beginning at 33:55 into video of the meeting), Public Works Director Ken Wheat (beginning at 37:55 into video of the meeting), Bridge Inspector Alex Sumrall (beginning at 42:20 into video of the meeting), and Transportation Manager Donnell Merritt (beginning at 45:25 into video of the meeting).
Following Council comments, the meeting adjourned.
During last week's severe weather, Washington Parish workers were out clearing roads, cutting trees, and sanding bridges for the safety of parish residents. Parish President Richard Thomas and Council members commended their efforts at the meeting of the Parish Council Monday (February 22, 2021) evening. Some of their comments are presented below.
Dustin Stein was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery (3rd Offense) and False Imprisonment by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Martin Winder was booked on the charge of Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule II Narcotics by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $25000.00.
Chasity Branch was booked on the charges of Distribution of Schedule II Drugs (3 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $35000.00.
Charlotte Branch was booked on the charges of Distribution of Schedule II Drugs (3 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $50000.00.
Aaron Jerrell was booked on the charges of Expired MVI, Switched License Plates, No Drivers License, No Insurance, Failure to Change/Secure Registration, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and Possession of Marijuana by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $5000.00 bond.
Walter Smith was booked on the charge of Distribution of Schedule II CDS by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $50000.00 bond.
Hulon Crain was booked on the charges of Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, Criminal Trespass, and Illegal Carrying of Weapon by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $1000.00 bond.
February 23, 2021
Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa, Inc. reports that on December 9, 2020 the Amite City Police began an investigation of a theft that occurred at Wal Mart in Amite. Officers learned that the person pictured here took items from the business and exited the store without rendering payment for the items.
After exiting the store the female places the items into green four door car and leaves the area.
If you have information on this case please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1.800.554.5245 or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com and click on the P3 Tips icon or Submit A Tip! Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000! “
Agents cited Ashley Jacobsen, 24, for hunting without basic hunting, bow and big game hunting licenses and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.
Agents received a tip about Jacobsen harvesting a 12-point deer with a crossbow without the required licenses. During the investigation, agents interviewed Jacobsen on Feb. 19 and she admitted to not having the required licenses when she harvested the deer on Dec. 4.
Hunting without resident basic season, big game hunting and bow licenses bring up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense. Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Jacobsen may also face civil restitution totaling $2,033 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer. Agents seized the antlers.
Agents participating in this case are Cpl. Jake Darden, Senior Agent Gerald Sander, and Senior Agent Jeremy Foret.
Entergy representative Patrick Hamby reported to the Washington Parish Council Monday (February 22, 2021) evening on the progress to reduce the noise levels at the power plant near Bogalusa. Hamby advised that Entergy is working to maximize the reduction level of noise, that the target level is a reduction to 45 to 50 decibels, and that construction start has been pushed back to begin the last of August or early September of 2021.
See the video for his report and comments and questions from Council members and by parish resident Phillip Bedwell.
The truck is a 2003 green Ford F250 with tan trim, towing a 20-foot utility trailer, bearing Louisiana license plate J588786. The truck and trailer were reportedly taken by Jessica Olinger (43) from Veteran’s Avenue and was last seen traveling towards I-12.
Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the vehicle or suspect is asked contact Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1-800-554-5245. Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward.
Mark your calendars and help beautify the Town of Franklinton! A Community Cleanup Day is set for March 27, 2021. Join in the effort by meeting at 8:00 AM at the Public Works Department located at 1108 Lenora Street. Lunch will be served.
Josheph Mandella was booked In From Court.
Boshart Camron was booked on the charges of Possession of an Alleged Substance, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Nicole Tompkins was booked on the charges of Possession of an Alleged Substance, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and No Seat Belt by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Stephon Crosby was booked on the charges of Aggravated Assault With a Firearm, Aggravated Second Degree Battery, Convicted Felon in Possession of Firearm, and Possession of Contraband in a Correctional Facility by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $52500.00 bond.
Jerry Elzie was booked on the charges of Criminal Conspiracy and Attempted Introduction of Contraband into Correctional Facility by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $7500.00 bond.
February 22, 2021
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind the public that the best thing to do when encountering injured or orphaned wildlife is to leave it alone and undisturbed.
Each year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they believe to be orphaned or abandoned mammals. It is against the law to capture, transport or possess mammalian wildlife and generally, those animals are better off left where they are found.
During the upcoming spring and summer months, the public is more likely to encounter or observe young wildlife with and without their parents. The presence of juvenile wildlife is common during these seasons as young wildlife begins to explore their environment, learn to forage/hunt and defend themselves. Also, it is not uncommon to find young wildlife alone while the parents are hunting/foraging or during a den relocation. Wildlife parents will return to the den site twice a day or more calling and waiting for a response from their young to then provide the necessary care of the young and/or move the young, one by one, to the new den site. The young will often be observed alone during the relocation and dispersal phases. Predators are less likely to find the young if the parents move the den location and doing so reduces the chances of entire den failure.
LDWF is alerting the public to refrain from intervening in normal wildlife rearing and dispersal processes.
Individuals who encounter what appears to be orphaned wildlife should leave them alone and immediately leave the area, allowing the parents to return and continue to care for their offspring.
Individuals who encounter deer fawns must leave the area immediately. Do not touch or interact with the fawn. Fawns are virtually scentless and use this advantage to avoid predation. Does often leave their fawns alone for hours to forage and to reduce attracting predators to the fawn.
You are most likely to see fawns in Louisiana from March-September. If you have encountered a fawn or deer which you believe to be orphaned or injured, note the location of the animal and leave the area immediately. Notify an LDWF biologist at the nearest LDWF Regional Office at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/contact-us or call the 24-hour LDWF Enforcement Dispatch at 1-800-442-2511. Remember: IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE!
Individuals who believe they have encountered other orphaned or injured wildlife species, should likewise leave the animal alone and contact an LDWF biologist at the nearest LDWF Regional Office http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regional-offices or an LDWF licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov//page/injured-orphaned-wildlife
Individuals interested in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program should contact Melissa Collins at email@example.com or 225-763-8584.
Two suspects, DaJohn Morgan and DaMarcus Smith, from McComb, Ms. have been arrested and charged with First Degree Murder They are awaiting an initial hearing in Walthall Justice Court.
Walthall County Sheriff Kyle Breland commented, “We appreciate the fast and diligent response of our Deputies and Investigators of the Walthall County Sheriffs Dept and the teamwork of all agencies involved to include, Tylertown Police Dept, Pike County Sheriffs Dept, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Washington Parish Sheriffs Dept, Walthall County Coroner, and The District Attorneys Office”
Further details are not available at this time as this investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information involving this or any other crime are encouraged to contact the Walthall County Sheriffs Department at 601-876-3481.
The Walthall County Sheriff's Department reports that on February 21, 2021 they received 911 call reporting a person deceased at 02 Brandon Bay Church Road, Tylertown, Mississippi. Walthall County Deputies, Investigators, and AAA ambulance service responded and after arriving on the scene, Mona James was pronounced dead.
Keith Penton of Tylertown has been arrested and charged with First Degree Murder, and will have an initial hearing in Walthall County Justice Court.
Sheriff Kyle Breland commented, “We appreciate the response of our Deputies, Investigators, and AAA ambulance service. We would like to thank all agencies for their assistance including, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and their Crime Scene Unit, Pearl Police Dept, Walthall County Coroner, and the District Attorneys Office. Our prayers are with the families involved in this tragedy,.”
Anyone with information involving this or any other crime should contact the Walthall County Sheriffs Department at 601-876-3481.
All Fire Fighters, Police Officers, EMTS and those who support them are invited to donate blood. All donors will receive the EXCLUSIVE First Responders for Life T-shirt, a Blood Center T-shirt and free Covid-19 Antibodies Screening.
PLEASE make an appointment for the drive by clicking the following link: https://www.tbcdonors.org/.../schedules/drive_schedule/42534
The Washington Parish Council will meet tonight (February 22, 2021) at 6:00 PM. The meeting will be in the upstairs courtroom in Franklinton, Louisiana. The meeting may also be joined via Zoom. The meeting ID is 88291665297 and the passcode is 885636.
1. Call to Order
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Roll Call
5. Approval of Minutes – Approval of minutes dated February 8, 2021.
6. Frankie Crosby – Community Cleanup Day.
7. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1069 – A resolution by the Washington Parish Council to authorize the Parish President to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement to assist The Town of Franklinton with skilled labor and mechanized equipment towards driveway, parking area, road rehabilitation, drainage and flood control.
8. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1070 – A resolution by the Washington Parish Council to authorize the Parish President to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement to assist The Village of Angie with skilled labor and mechanized equipment towards driveway, parking area, road rehabilitation, drainage and flood control.
9. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1071 – A resolution by the Washington Parish Council to authorize the Parish President to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement to assist The Village of Varnado with skilled labor and mechanized equipment towards driveway, parking area, road rehabilitation, drainage and flood control.
10. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1072 – A resolution by the Washington Parish Council to authorize the Parish President to sign any and all documents concerning the council chamber renovation for project cost not to exceed $125,000.
11. Public Participation –
12. President’s Report –
13. Council Discussion –
The following is the Agenda for the Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting on February 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Franklinton Municipal Building, 301 11th Avenue.
Other items added to the agenda will be done by unanimous vote of the Board of Aldermen prior to the beginning of the meeting.
Prayer and Pledge
1. Approve minutes-February 9, 2021 Regular Meeting
1. Departmental Reports
2. Approve the Hiring of Greg Warren for Public Works Department
3. Francis Varnado of Washington Parish School Board to address the Mayor and Board
4. Frankie Crosby to address the Mayor and Board
5. Ratify Past Actions of Chief of Police Justin Brown
6. Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Justin Brown
7. Ratify Past Actions of Attorney James Knight
8. Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting James Knight
9. Ratify Past Actions of Code Enforcement Officer Will Magee
10. Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Will Magee
11. Ratify Past Actions of Chief of Police Olander Smith
12. Ratify Actions of Mayor, Employees of the Town and Aldermen effecting Olander Smith
13. Introduction of Ordinance #1077 – Amendment of Criminal Code/Adoption of State Code
14. Johnnie Daniel to address the Mayor and Board
The Slidell Police Department began the investigation on Monday (February 15, 2021) after a body, identified as Jason Milto, was discovered in a ditch, along the E. I-10 Service Road near Katore Body & Automotive Center. Injuries to Milto’s body led investigators to determine that he was struck by a vehicle while walking along the side of the road.
It took investigators several days to view surveillance video, from numerous different businesses, in order to piece together the sequence of events that led up to the victim’s death. After analyzing crash debris left at the scene, and corroborating video surveillance footage, investigators focused their efforts on a late model white Ford F-150 pickup truck, as being the suspect’s vehicle. An off-duty Slidell Police detective spotted the Ford F-150 at a gas station near Indian Village Road.
Investigators determined that the victim was struck by Otero during the early evening hours of Sunday (February 14, 2021) and Otero did not stop to assist the victim, nor did he contact anyone to report the accident. It wasn’t until the next day (15 hours later) that the victim was found.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal says, “The fact that Mr. Otero didn't stop, or at least call someone to help the victim, is beyond me. Mr. Otero will have to answer for his actions, or lack thereof. Maybe, just maybe, if aid was rendered to the victim, he could have survived, or at least had a fighting chance. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the victim's family during this difficult time.”
Otero was booked into the Slidell City Jail Friday (February 19, 2021) evening and then transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Tammy Trahan was booked on the charges of Open Container in Vehicle, Resisting Arrest, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and Probation and Parole Hold by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $5000.00.
Amber Pope was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court and Bond Surrender by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $5000.00 bond.
Keybian Lewis was booked on the charges of Resisting an Officer, Possession of Marijuana (3rd Offense), Sale Distribution or Possession of Legend Drugs Without Prescription or Order, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.
Bryant Meyers was booked on the charges of Battery of a Dating Partner, Resisting an Officer (2 counts), Possession of Cocaine 28 Grams to 200 Grams, and Possession of Marijuana (2nd Offense) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Joshua Lane was booked on the charge of Theft 1000-5000 by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released February 21, 2021. No bond information available.
February 21, 2021
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office reported today that on Friday (February 19, 2021), Kentwood resident Kevin Buckley (34) was taken into custody and charged with two counts of First Degree Murder.
A Kentwood couple, Iva Jane Travis (54) and Lewis “Payton” Travis (55), were reported missing on February 18, 2021 around 2:15 PM. They had not been seen or heard from since Valentine’s day, February 14, 2021.
While gathering information and interviewing family members and friends, detectives made contact with Kevin Buckley. Buckley lived with the couple at their Hwy. 440 residence and worked with Payton for many years. While speaking to Buckley regarding the couple’s whereabouts, he reportedly confessed to killing both victims and told detectives the location of their bodies.
The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab has been processing the crime scene and collecting all physical evidence related to the case. This investigation is ongoing, therefore, additional details will be released as they become available.
February 20, 2021
Riche reportedly has a prior arrest for a sexual assault-related charge in Tangipahoa Parish with similar motives. Riche connects with women online through the dating application called “Bumble.” Riche then meets with the women and then sexually assaults them.
The Covington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division asks for anyone else who may have been a victim of Riche to please contact Sergeant Jessica Restel at 985-214-6511.
The Covington Police Department also has a free tip submitting application. You can download this app by searching “Covington PD” in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. When you submit a tip through our application, it is 100% anonymous.
Michael Branch was booked on he charges of Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation and Failure to Appear (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $1342.00.
Justin Branch was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Pamela Duhon was booked on the charge of Probation Violation by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.