Teen indicted on murder charges

Leslie D. Rose and Brandie Richardson

GONZALES – On Wednesday, Oct. 14, at a detention hearing presided by Judge Jason Verdigets, Jacob Westbrook - the 16-year-old who is accused of stabbing, 18-year-old, Todd Toups, Jr. - was notified that he will be tried as an adult for second degree murder. 

     A press conference was held Oct. 13 at the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in regards to Westbrook. It was there that Sheriff Jeff Wiley minced no words on his feelings toward the case. 

     “[Toups] was a leader in choir, active in his church, and no known flaws, character or otherwise, and no known enemies,” Wiley said.

     "It is our goal in the Sheriff's Office, and the family supports it, the family of the victim, and the DA is very much in support of it and complicit in his pursuit of having this case transferred to district court - adult court if you will. And hopefully that can happen relatively quick, and this 16-year-old killer will be removed from juvenile detention and locked down in the Ascension Parish jail with adult criminals." 

     The stabbing occurred Oct. 10 at Cobb's Trailer Park on Roddy Road in Gonzales.

     It is alleged that Westbrook was at the trailer park at the same time as Toups. Toups had gone check on a choir friend that he was taking to the dance, though not as a date. It is then alleged that Westbrook proceeded to go into the kitchen and get a black-handled steak knife, in which he started jabbing threateningly at Toups. Witnesses said that Toups tried to protect himself by either pushing or hitting the suspect, which prompted Westbrook to stab him inside his ribcage.

     Toups was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. 

     According to reports, three days prior to the later fatal attack, Westbrook's girlfriend, an East Ascension High School student and step-sister of Toups' friend, told Toups, “I don't like you, you better not hurt my sister or I'll stab you.”

     While 23rd District Attorney, Ricky Babin is unavailable for comment, his office released the following statement in regards to the ongoing investigation.

     "The 23rd Judicial District Attorney's Office plans to prosecute the suspect in Todd Toups' death as an adult on a charge of second degree murder. This is based on evidence collected at this time; however, the investigation is still ongoing."