Jefferson Parish juries returned two guilty verdicts in unrelated trials this week, including that of a Kenner man who was convicting of raping an intoxicated woman in his car while she was unconscious.
Third-degree rape conviction
Cornelius Williams, 29, was convicted as charged of third-degree rape following a two-day trial that ended Tuesday (Jan. 8). Williams raped a 21-year-old woman on Feb. 19, 2017, while parked in an alley outside his home in the 300 block of Taylor Street.
The victim reported to the Kenner Police Department that she, Williams and another woman were visiting bars in the French Quarter when she passed out because she was intoxicated, according to trial evidence. She said she woke to find herself in the back seat of his car with him having intercourse with her.
She told him to stop, and she passed out again, only to realize Williams was performing oral sex on her, she testified. Williams eventually dropped her off at her home, where she passed out again. Hours later, she woke and went to the Kenner Police Department.
Before the rape occurred, Williams dropped the other woman off at her home. Williams admitted he attempted to have intercourse after performing oral sex, but he did not complete the act.
Judge Michael Mentz of the 24th Judicial District Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing hearing for Feb. 19.
Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Jennifer Voss prosecuted the case.
Convicted felon with firearm case
On Wednesday (Jan. 10), a separate jury found Russell K. Wilson guilty as charged of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Wilson, 36, of Algiers, was legally prohibited from carrying firearms because of a 2010 conviction of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Jefferson Parish.
Yet on June 28, 2017, two Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives, while on a proactive patrol in a high-crime area, smelled marijuana and observed several people loitering outside a closed business near 6th Avenue and Ames Boulevard in Marrero’s Walkertown neighborhood, according to trial testimony.
The detectives noticed Wilson handling his pants in a manner suggesting he had a firearm tucked in the waistband, according to trial evidence. One of the detectives approached Wilson and noted he placed the pistol on top of a tire in a wheel well of a nearby parked vehicle. It was a fully loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol with a bullet in the chamber, according to trial evidence.
In testimony, Wilson denied possessing the gun, suggesting that the detectives randomly sought to question him and planted the weapon. He acknowledged his criminal history, which includes narcotics offenses and a previous guilty plea to attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Judge Conn Regan of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Wilson on Jan. 25.
Assistant District Attorneys Lynn Schiffman and Zachary Popovich prosecuted the case.