Judge finds Prairieville man guilty of kidnapping related charges

On Oct. 25, 23rd Judicial District Judge Thomas Kliebert found Troy Jones of Prairieville, age 40, guilty of one count of 2nd Degree Kidnapping and Aggravated Battery. Jones was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Bush and Phil Maples.

On Sept. 19, 2015, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call from a female subject advising that her mother and toddler were possibly missing or victims of a kidnapping. The caller advised that her mother failed to drop off her grandson prior to going into work and received information that the victim never made it to work. A "Be on the look out - BOLO" was issued for the victim’s vehicle, and an Amber Alert was issued for the toddler. Several hours later, the victim, her grandson, and Troy Jones were located in Calcasieu Parish after deputies with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office located the victim’s vehicle.

After a vehicle pursuit and a brief foot chase, deputies were able to identify the driver of the vehicle as Troy Jones. Jones was arrested by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Deputies on arrest warrants issued in relation to a prior domestic dispute in Ascension Parish. Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Detectives traveled to Calcasieu Parish where they made contact with the victim. The victim advised that as she was getting into her vehicle with her grandson, she was approached by Jones who exited an abandoned vehicle parked on the property. Jones stabbed the victim with a “shank-like” object causing minor cuts to her body. The victim advised after being instructed to get into the vehicle, Jones drove the vehicle and proceeded to Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish. Jones made several stops along the way, but never allowed the victim to leave his sight. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Deputies were able to apprehend Jones as he was planning to drive back from Lake Charles.

Upon rendering a verdict, Judge Kliebert ordered that sentencing be deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation. Jones’ sentencing is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14, 2017. The District Attorney’s Office does intend to file a habitual offender bill. Jones has multiple prior felony convictions including 2nd Degree Kidnapping and Armed Robbery. Judge Kliebert ordered that Jones be remanded to the custody of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Former Prairieville resident sentenced to 5 years on child porn convictions

A Baton Rouge man who had faced 251 counts of child pornography possession and up to 20 years in prison for each count if convicted has been given a five-year prison sentence after a recent guilty plea.

Phillip J. Rome, 25, 7200 Cypress Lake, Apt. 521, Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty to two counts of child pornography possession and was given two 10-year prison sentences with five years suspended and five years of supervised probation, prosecutors in Ascension Parish said Tuesday. The sentences run concurrent to each other. All 249 other counts were dropped by prosecutors.

On Feb. 5, 2015, Investigators from the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Special Victims Unit along with several other agencies arrested a Baton Rouge man after they learned that he was in possession of child pornography in Ascension Parish.

Investigators arrested 24-year-old Phillip J. Rome for charges related to the possession and distribution of images of child pornography. The arrest came after Investigators served a search warrant at Rome’s former residence in Prairieville. The search warrant was the result of an investigation that yielded information relating to the possession and distribution of images indicative of child pornography.

Investigators learned that Rome distributed and received the images while he resided in Prairieville. As a result of the search warrant, a large amount of child pornography was located on a computer belonging to Rome.

Rome was placed under arrest and booked into the Ascension Parish jail for Pornography involving juveniles. He pleaded guilty Oct. 18 to possessing on Dec. 21, 2014, two images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts, his guilty plea says.

He was sentenced the same day by Judge Alvin Turner Jr. of the 23rd Judicial District Court in Gonzales.

Pierre Part man pleads guilty on narcotics charge

On Oct. 26, Cody Grandin of Pierre Part, age 40, pleaded guilty to the charge of Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance. Grandin was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Daigle. Presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets. The plea was a result of a plea agreement with prosecutors after the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office initiated an all-out “War on Drugs” throughout the parish.

On June 2, 2016, Assumption Parish Narcotics Agents were contacted by a confidential informant advising that Cody Grandin was manufacturing Methamphetamine inside of a shed near his residence. Agents traveled to Grandin’s residence on La. 70 in Pierre Part, and upon arrival observed a light on in a shed adjacent to Grandin’s residence. The agents detected a strong chemical like odor and through a shed window, observed Grandin smoking what appeared to be Methamphetamine. Agents entered the shed and made contact with Grandin, and in plain view observed a glass pipe attached to a smoking apparatus used for consuming narcotics. In addition, agents located several plastic baggies containing a quantity of methamphetamine. Grandin was arrested and transported to the Assumption Parish Detention Center where he was held pending prosecution.

Upon entering a guilty plea to the above charge, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, Judge Verdigets sentenced Grandin to 18 months with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. It should be noted that the office of District Attorney Ricky L. Babin said he fully intends to assist the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office in cracking down on drug offenders throughout the area.

Guilty Pleas

During the week of Oct. 24 to Oct. 28, the following defendants pleaded guilty to various charges and were sentenced in the 23rd Judicial District Court, parishes of Ascension, Assumption, and St. James.

Ascension Parish

Alvin Valentine, 14340 Oak Meadow St., Gonzales, age 56, pleaded guilty to Theft over $750, but Less than $5,000. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Lamar Callaway, 18421 Belle Grove Road, Prairieville, age 45, pleaded guilty to DWI 3rd Offense and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. It was ordered that one year of the imposed sentence is to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Dustin Capell, 16393 Chris Drive, Gonzales, age 36, pleaded guilty to Domestic Abuse Battery by Strangulation and was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The above cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over these matters was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert.

Assumption Parish

Ronnie Metrejean, 116 Angela St., Pierre Part, age 46, pleaded guilty to Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling and was sentenced to three years at hard labor with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The above case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lana Chaney, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Alvin Turner Jr.

Cody Grandin, 1907 La. 70 Pierre Part, age 40, pleaded guilty to Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance and was sentenced to 18 months with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The above case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Daigle, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets.

St. James Parish

Moses Diggs, 11232 Roddy Road, Gonzales, age 35, pleade guilty to Aggravated Flight from an Officer and Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property. The defendant was sentenced to three years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The above case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sara Clarke, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Tess Stromberg.

- Leslie D. Rose