District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Joseph P. Grant, age 59 and of Slidell, guilty as charged of First-Degree Robbery. District Judge Scott Gardner presided over the case.
On April 4, 2019 at 12:53 AM, Slidell Police Department officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Slidell gas station. Upon arrival, police found a victim who relayed what had happened and were able to view video surveillance footage.
A black male wearing pink multi-colored slippers, a black hooded sweatshirt and sweat pants with a Saints cap turned backwards arrived at the store in a black SUV. As he entered, he walked around the counter and grabbed the store clerk by the neck and demanded that she open the cash register. He then proceeded to punch her multiple times all while threatening to shoot and kill her. He eventually fled after taking approximately $200 worth of cash and a few boxes of Kool cigarettes. Video footage also showed that the defendant had two distinctive warts on his middle finger.
About nine hours after the incident, officers encountered the defendant, who matched the description of the perpetrator, driving a vehicle that also matched the description of the vehicle used in the robbery. Officers noted that the defendant had two matching warts on the same hand and finger as depicted in the surveillance video.
The defendant was taken into custody and a search warrant was executed on his vehicle and residence. At his residence, officers found the matching Saints hat, black clothing, pink multi-colored slippers, and pack of Kool cigarettes. In his vehicle, officers found an additional pack of Kool cigarettes and other miscellaneous items.
Defense’s argument was that the identity of the defendant could not be established. In closing, however, ADA Peters highlighted to the jury all of the consistencies between the physical characteristics, clothing, and vehicle of the defendant, compared to what was seen in the surveillance video from the store. Peters stated to the jury: “There are only two choices here: Either this is the greatest coincidence in the history of mankind, or simply, he is guilty.”
Thank you to Slidell PD members Detective Scott O’Shaughnessy, Officer Michael Koch, Detective Kyle Taylor, Crime Scene Technician Allyson Zitzman Leebrick and Sergeant Michael Deckelman, among others.
The case was prosecuted by ADA Blake Peters. The defendant is facing a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. He has 5 prior felony convictions for theft of goods, possession with attempt to distribute cocaine, purse snatching, armed robbery and attempted manslaughter. He will be sentenced on March 8, 2022.