News around Ascension Parish

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Owen Ockman.

Ockman guilty on indecent behavior with juvenile charge

GONZALES – A six person jury deliberated for just over two hours on Aug. 20 before returning to the courtroom of the Honorable Judge Jessie LeBlanc with a verdict of guilty in the indecent behavior with a juvenile trial of Owen Ockman Jr.

Ockman was tried for indecent behavior with a female, while she was between the ages of 13 and 16.

Assistant District Attorney Joni Buquoi, who tried the case on behalf of the 23rd JDA, said she was pleased with the outcome.

"We couldn't be happier with the outcome of what has been a long and painful process for the victim of Mr. Ockman,” Buquoi said. “Justice was served today, and although that won't change the circumstances of what his victim went through, it will hopefully go a long way in not only allowing her to begin a road to recovery, but also allow other victims of similar crimes the strength to stand up and face their aggressors, knowing that we will continue fighting for their voices and stories to be heard. This is a wonderful day for all involved in seeing that Mr. Ockman pays for his crime."

Jude LeBlanc has set Nov. 16 as Ockman’s date for sentencing. His attorney, John Guitirrez, reminded Judge LeBlanc that Ockman’s previous bond had been set at $7,500, and asked that it be kept the same, and that Ockman be allowed to return home until Aug. 21 – Buquoi asked that Ockman be remanded immediately.

Judge LeBlanc set a post-conviction bond of $75,000, along with a bail restriction prohibiting any contact with the victim, now 21 years of age, and any member of her family.

Ockman now has until 4 p.m., Aug. 21 to post his bond and turn himself into the proper authorities. He faces up to seven years of incarceration with or without hard labor.

Future lawyer’s dreams come true on national television

PRAIRIEVILLE – Two-year-old Grayson Dobra – the lawyer obsessed child who celebrated his birthday with a Morris Bart themed party – met the man, himself on Jimmy Kimel Live, Aug. 19. Kimmel surprised Dobra and his mother L’Erin while Morris Bart waited outside the family’s door. The young Dobra was so excited that he threw himself on the floor with happiness. Bart then placed the child on his lap and gifted him a suit, fit for a future lawyer.

Student who brought gun to school detained

DUTCHTOWN - A student who brought a gun to school on Aug. 19 was put into juvenile detention on Aug. 20, Ascension Parish Sheriff's deputies said.

According to the sheriff's office, an anonymous tip was made to a crime hotline, reporting a student brought a gun to Dutchtown High School. Deputies have confiscated the weapon.

No further information is available.

Woman Arrested for bank fraud and felony theft

GONZALES – The City of Gonzales Police Department has arrested 23 year-old Brelle T. Ford, of 1120 South Lanoux Ave., Gonzales, on charges of one count of bank fraud and one count of felony identity theft.

The arrest is a result of an investigation into Ford providing false and fictitious information to obtain an auto loan for $24,947.12 which she used to purchase a 2011 BMW.

The investigation revealed that Ford used the social security number of an 82-year-old woman to obtain the credit. She obtained the social security number when she befriended, then betrayed, the elderly female during her previous employment as the elderly woman’s personal care attendant.

Ford has been booked into the Ascension Parish Jail and is awaiting bond.

Chairman Closure

In a letter on Aug. 24, Councilman Kent Schexnaydre announced that he will not seek re-election when his term ends.

“After much thought, consideration, and discussion with family, I am taking this time to announce my decision to not seek re-election to my Council 2 seat in this fall’s election,” Schexnaydre wrote.

From Bayou LaFourche, across the Sunshine Bridge, to Diversion Canal, Council District 2 is unique in the number of issues to tackle. This includes a number of pumping stations, Historic District, Industrial Plants, Mississippi River, interaction with 4 Parishes and 3 Municipalities, as well as the normal council issues. There are many unfinished projects that still need to be addressed for infrastructure, drainage, and planning for growth. We have been working on projects that unfortunately take years to bring to completion. Many are in the final stages. I have worked countless hours with my colleagues on these issues. My wife and I have recently had increased job demands and I would not be able to put in the time I believe is necessary. The people of District 2 deserve someone that can dedicate the time needed to address these important issues.

Having the privilege to serve the people of Ascension for the last 12 years, I treasure the many friends and relationships that were built during this time. My thanks to President Tommy Martinez, Council Chairman Randy Clouatre, and the many fine Councilmen and Councilwomen I have served with. Special thanks go out to the many, many wonderful employees working for the Parish. Thanks also to all the people I have met and worked with. I have always tried to discuss and get information from all sides of an issue before making a decision that is best for the Parish. It is great to see the many people getting involved and voicing their opinions to help make this parish the best it can be

Many thanks to my wife, Donna, our son Wade, daughter Wendy, and the many family members for their understanding and support while serving the people of Ascension, especially for the many hours away from home and family activities

I am proud of the many accomplishments during my time as councilman. Most important, through the hard work of many people, was to bring back proper decorum and respect for each other during council meetings and the hard decisions that were needed to be made on fiscal responsibility. In this day and age of growing government debt, Ascension Parish has become a leader in saving the people’s money and increasing the bond rating needed for future investment. The future of Ascension is truly bright.

With kindness regards,

Kent Schexnaydre

Ascension Parish Councilman-District 2