Ascension Crime Briefs

Ascension Crime Briefs
Valencia Benjamin

Donaldsonville charged with cruelty to the infirmed

On June 5, the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the medical staff at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center in regards to an elderly female patient being treated for severe bruising about her body and torso. Upon the arrival of APSO deputies, it was determined that the patient (identity is being withheld for security reasons) suffered multiple fractured bones.

The Criminal Investigations Division was contacted due to the severity of injuries and necessary follow up investigation. An extended investigation was conducted by detectives. During the investigation, several employees and caretakers who were tasked with this patient’s well-being and care were interviewed in conjunction with the investigation. At the completion of the investigation, it was determined that the patient suffered these injuries while under the care of an assisted living facility. It was also determined that the employee who was present when the patient fell and sustained the injuries failed to fulfill her duties and report the injury and seek medical treatment for the patient.

On June 15, a warrant was obtained for the arrest of the caretaker, Valencia R. Benjamin of Donaldsonville, who was subsequently arrested on the same date for the violation of Louisiana Revised Statute 14:93.3, cruelty to the infirmed.

Benjamin has since bonded out of the Assumption Parish Detention Center on a $5,000.00 bond set by the honorable Judge Alvin Turner of the 23rd Judicial District of Louisiana.

Former APSO Deputy arrested for sexual relations with a juvenile

A former Ascension Parish deputy was arrested on June 14, for malfeasance in office and first degree rape.

The investigation began on the night of June 13, revealing that 31-year-old William Lanoux, of Prairieville, had sex with a juvenile while on duty.

As the investigation continued it was learned that Lanoux met the teen on thesocial media app, Skout, and then in person in Prairieville,shortly before he was due to be off duty. The girl'sprofile on the social media site said she was 18-years-old, and messages that were read in court on June 20 coincide with the claims.

Lanoux confessed to having sex with the girl in his unmarked vehicle. Upon receiving a report of a juvenile runaway over the dispatch from the location he picked her up from, the sheriff’s office initiated an investigation where Lanoux subsequently admitted to sexual relations with the victim, who was identified as the 14-year-old juvenile runaway.

According to court testimony, Lanoux said he refused to finish the sexual acts once he heard the dispatch of the missing teen, however he continued that the girl then threatened him, saying that she would say that he raped her if he did not finish the act. However, the girl stated that Lanoux raped her with his hand on his gun.

Lanoux was employed by the sheriff’s office in 2008 and most recently worked in the criminal investigation division as a plain clothes detective. Upon his arrest, he was immediately terminated. On Tuesday, he posted his $125,000 bond and is out of jail.

The unmarked vehicle has been processed and a sexual assault kit was performed with the results pending.

Grand Jury probe lands arrests

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley reports the arrest of a Sorrento public official and his attorney, following a 23rd Judicial District grand jury probe.

Late on the evening of June 16, an Ascension Parish grand jury indicted Sorrento Town Councilman Randy Anny and one time candidate for mayor and his attorney, Roy Maughn, Jr., on theft charges.

According to Sheriff Wiley, the state indictments were handed down following a three-year joint investigation by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U. S. department of Justice. The criminal investigation found Anny and Maughn had misappropriated $77,500 in 2013 that belonged to the Town of Sorrento. The $77,500 check in question was signed by Anny when he was mayor pro-tem while then-Mayor Wilson Longanecker, Jr. was on medical leave. The $77,500 was made out to Design and Build Consultants, a company that Maughn represented at the time. The money was supposed to have been used for sewer repairs that were never done in Sorrento.

Randy Anny was charged with three counts of forgery, felony theft, prohibited splitting of profits, fees, or commissions and malfeasance in office. He bonded from jail on a $30,000 bond after being booked. Roy Maughan was charged with three counts forgery and felony theft and bonded on a $20,000 bond after he was booked.

Baton Rouge man gets 45 years for car wash burglaries

On March 14, Hubert Bourgeois of 902 Europe St., Baton Rouge, age 54, pleaded guilty to nine counts of Simple Burglary, five counts of Simple Criminal Damage to Property over $500, and one count of Simple Criminal Damage to Property Under $500.

Bourgeois was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples. Presiding over the matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert. Following the plea, sentencing was deferred by Judge Kliebert pending a pre-sentence investigation.

The plea stems from a rash of car wash burglaries throughout Ascension Parish. Between Sept. 23, 2015 and Nov. 9, 2015, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies responded to burglaries at multiple different carwashes throughout Ascension Parish. Some of the businesses were burglarized on more than one occasion during this time frame. In all of the burglaries, the suspect entered the control area by cutting a hole in the roof. After making entry, the suspect used a grinder to break into the coin machines where cash and change were taken. Bourgeois became a suspect after being recognized on video surveillance by an employee at a nearby business of one of the car washes. Detectives showed the employee a photo line-up containing a photograph of Bourgeois. Bourgeois was identified as the suspect in this burglary. Detectives were able to obtain a blood sample located near the entry holes of one of the other businesses and had the sample examined. Scientific analysis confirmed that the blood was matched to Bourgeois. In addition to this evidence, following his arrest, Bourgeois confessed to the remaining burglaries and explained his mode of operation to detectives.

On June 13, Judge Kliebert sentenced Bourgeois to a total of 45 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. On the charge of Simple Burglary, Bourgeois was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served on each count to run consecutive to one another for a total of 45 years. On the charge of Simple Criminal Damage to Property over $500, Bourgeois was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served on each count to run consecutive to one another for a total of ten years. On the charge of Simple Criminal Damage to Property under $500, Bourgeois was sentenced to six months.

The imposed sentences on the Criminal Damage to property charges are to run concurrent with the imposed sentences on the Simple Burglary Charges. Bourgeois has prior convictions for seven counts of Felony Theft and Simple Burglary in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Guilty Pleas

During the Week of June 13 to June 17, 2016, the following defendants pleaded guilty to various charges and were sentenced in the 23rd Judicial District Court Parishes of Ascension and Assumption. St. James Parish, which is included, had no court news to report.

Ascension Parish

Thornton Range, 2926 Brady St., Baton Rouge, age 36, pleaded guilty to Felony Theft and Simple Burglary. He was sentenced to six and a half years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served on each count. The imposed sentences are to run concurrent with one another.

Tammy Barker, 13202 Lambert Road, Gonzales, age 43, pleaded guilty to Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling and was sentenced to three years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Lucas Green, 42553 La. 42 Prairieville, age 34, pleaded guilty to Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling and was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. The defendant must serve six months of the imposed sentence. Upon release, the remaining 18 months of the imposed sentence is to be suspended, and the defendant is to be placed on 18 months supervised probation.

Keith Gayden, 15288 Roy Rogers Road, Prairieville, age 48, pleaded guilty to Theft of a Motor Vehicle and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Jason Leachman, 41393 Aqua Marine Ave., Gonzales, age 44, pleaded guilty to DWI third offense and Vehicular Negligent Injuring (two counts). Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Jerry Savoy, 1116 Laredo Drive, Odessa, Texas, age 31, pleaded guilty to False Imprisonment with a Dangerous Weapon and was sentenced to eight years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. The defendant is to serve two years of the imposed sentence. Upon release, the remaining six years of the imposed sentence is to be suspended, and the defendant is to be placed on five years supervised probation.

Stephon Soloman, 925 Maginnis St., Donaldsonville, age 23, pleaded guilty to Battery of a Police Officer and was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Raynell Neff, 4309 Gunny St., Baton Rouge, age 37, pleaded guilty to Theft of Goods at $1500 or more and was sentenced to seven years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Paul Alsay, 700 Houmas St., Donaldsonville, age 52, pleaded guilty to Simple Criminal Damage to Property over $500 and Simple Burglary. He was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served on each count. The imposed sentences are to run concurrent with one another.

Kaleb Boudreaux, 38173 Hidden Point Drive, Geismar, age 21, pleaded guilty to Aggravated Burglary and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

The above cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Joni Buquoi and Amy Colby. The presiding judge was the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets.

Joshua Gonzales, 6161 Royal Palms, Gonzales, age 33, pleaded guilty to DWI third offense. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Tracey Hood, 13500 Tuff Cat Alley, Walker, age 41, pleaded guilty to Theft Valued at $5000 or more but less than $25,000 and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on three years supervised probation.

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

Assumption Parish

Ghinelle Prestenbach, 1277 La. 401, Napoleonville, age 44, pleaded guilty to Issuing Worthless Checks $500 or more (one count), Issuing Worthless Checks Under $300 (three counts), and Issuing Worthless Checks over $300 but less than $500 (two counts). The defendant was sentenced to 18 months with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended under the following conditions: The defendant must be placed on 18 months supervised probation and must pay restitution to all victims.

Brandon Harris, 150 Pecan St., Napoleonville, age 32, pleaded guilty to Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance and was sentenced to 12 months with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on 12 months supervised probation.

The above cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lana Chaney. The presiding judge was the Honorable Judge Tess Stromberg.