Month: January 2017

Bridge City man convicted of sexually abusing young girl

A Bridge City man was convicted Thursday night (Jan. 26) of sexually abusing a young girl over a period of five years, ending with her mother’s discovering his deeds when the victim was 14 years old.

Trevor Clifton, 37, faces 25 years to 99 years in prison for his conviction of two counts of sexual battery in connection with the abuse he meted out to the child with whom he was acquainted. The victim is not being identified.

The victim’s mother caught Clifton abusing her daughter on Oct. 2, 2015. After confessing to committing only one sexual act, he obtained a knife and threatened to cut his own throat.

The mother called the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to report the crime, leading Clifton to flee with the knife. Deputies conducted a manhunt that involved searches by electronic means involving his cell phone and license plate recognition cameras.

Two days later, Detectives Donald Zanotelli and Gabe Faucetta tracked Clifton to a woman’s home in the 400 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Harvey.

The woman, with whom Clifton fathered a child and had an ongoing relationship, initially would not let deputies into her home. After gaining entry, the deputies found Clifton hiding behind a refrigerator, still holding a knife.

During the manhunt, detectives spoke with Clifton’s sister, who said her brother told her that the victim raped him and that the entire incident was a misunderstanding.

However, on the day the abuse was discovered, the victim was taken to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. No sign of physical abuse was discovered, as is often the case in child sexual abuse cases.

But the child disclosed the abuse to hospital staff, and DNA belonging to a male was recovered from the victim’s genitals. While the donor’s gender was determined, the amount of genetic material was insufficient for DNA analysts to identify a specific person.

The victim initially only partially disclosed the extent of the abuse. Through interviews with JPSO Personal Violence Detective Kay Horne and to a forensic interviewer at the Jefferson Children’s Advocacy Center, the victim disclosed that Clifton began abusing her when she was about 9 years old and that Clifton threatened her to get her to submit to the acts. The jury heard expert testimony on how young sexual abuse victims delay in reporting the crimes.

Through his attorneys, Clifton denied the accusations. His attorneys argued that witnesses lied about the crimes, and that detectives were sloppy and rushed the investigation.

Judge E. Adrian Adams of the 24th Judicial District Court set Clifton’s sentencing hearing for Feb. 9.

Assistant District Attorneys Matt Clauss and Josh Vanderhooft prosecuted the case.

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Metairie man nabbed in heroin distribution case convicted of narcotics, firearms offenses

A Metairie man who sold heroin to an undercover informant in New Orleans during a multi-jurisdictional investigation that led to Jefferson Parish was convicted Thursday night (Jan. 19) of possessing and distributing the illegal narcotic and of illegally possessing four firearms.

Julius Hankton, 27, is guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of oxycodone and four counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

A Jefferson Parish jury deliberated for 40 minutes before unanimously convicting him as charged of all counts. Judge Donnie Rowan of the 24th Judicial District Court set Hankton’s sentencing for Feb. 17.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force investigated Hankton beginning in 2014, using an undercover informant to purchase small quantities of heroin on four occasions, according to testimony. The task force comprises members of the FBI and local law enforcement agencies, including the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police.

Hankton, who lived in New Orleans when the investigation began, moved into an apartment with his girlfriend in the 1600 block of Clearview Parkway. As such, task force members obtained a warrant from a Jefferson Parish magistrate commissioner to search the apartment.

About 6 a.m., on March 19, 2015, FBI SWAT members and sheriff’s deputies served the warrant, surprising Hankton, his 4-year-old son and his girlfriend as they slept.

During the search agents found more than 21 grams of heroin, eight tablets of oxycodone and the firearms. They also seized more than $20,000 in cash.

The firearms included a fully loaded 9mm pistol with extended magazine, which was set on a dresser, a 10mm pistol on the floor next to his bed, a .45-caliber pistol found in the dresser drawer and a fully loaded AK-47 assault rifle in a duffle bag under the bed.

Hankton is barred from possessing firearms because of his prior convictions in New Orleans of aggravated battery, possession of cocaine, carrying a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance and illegal possession of stolen firearms.

Hankton, who did not testify, denied the crimes. His attorneys argued there was no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs and guns belonged to him.

Assistant District Attorneys Andrew DeCoste and Douglas Rushton prosecuted the case.

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DA’s statement on refusal of rape charge against man who killed wife, Westwego officer

Statement from Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul D. Connick, Jr.:

First and foremost, at this time of horrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Michael Louviere, the family of Simone Veal, and the entire law enforcement community.

Sylvester Holt, Jr. (DOB 8/3/1984) was booked in Jefferson Parish with first-degree rape last year (under JPSO Item No. E-02768-16). The victim who made the rape allegation told authorities that she met the unknown suspect on May 4, 2016, while she was on a street near a bar in New Orleans and willingly got into his vehicle with him believing they were going to his home in Metairie.  However, the victim said he stopped at a location in Metairie and raped her at gunpoint in his car.  After being identified as the suspect and subsequently arrested, Holt denied raping the victim and claimed the sexual encounter was consensual.

In December, JPSO detectives and DA’s Office investigators attempted to locate the victim in New Orleans, to no avail, and the victim did not respond to voice messages left on her cell phone. On the night of Dec. 20, 2016, the victim left a voicemail with, and later sent text messages to a DA’s Office investigator, saying she did not wish to pursue charges.  She was subsequently located and brought to the DA’s Office.  During the course of the interview, she said for the first time she had met Holt on a previous occasion.  She claimed she saw him again on the night of the incident and reiterated the rape allegation, but again insisted that she did not wish to pursue the charges.

A follow-up meeting was scheduled, but she continued to be uncooperative. With assistance from the JPSO, the victim was located and transported to the DA’s Office for the follow-up interview on Dec. 29, 2016.  At that time she remained uncooperative and insisted that charges be dropped.  She requested and signed an affidavit saying she wished to withdraw the charges.

On Jan. 5, 2017, she left a voicemail with a DA’s Office investigator, inquiring about the status of the investigation and reiterated her desire not to pursue charges against Holt. She once again requested that the charges be dropped.

Therefore, after reviewing the evidence, and in light of the victim’s unwillingness to cooperate with the prosecution, the DA’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to proceed without her participation. As such, the charge was refused two weeks ago, on Jan. 6, 2017.

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Kenner woman faces 20 years in prison in charity raffle scam targeting the elderly

A Kenner woman who stole $1,340 from unsuspecting elderly people by selling them fake raffle tickets will be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Tammy Marie Davis, 49, pleaded guilty as charged on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 19) to 16 felony counts of exploitation of the infirmed, bank fraud, possession of cocaine, and to misdemeanor counts of theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft from an aged or disabled person. The crimes occurred in Kenner in 2016.

Davis struck up conversations with her victims during which she asked about their doctors, according to the Kenner Police Department. She then would lie to the victims, telling them she knew the doctor and that his child was suffering from an illness or disease.

She further asserted she was selling raffle tickets to a fundraising event, to raise money for the ill child. In several cases, the victims only had $100 bills, which they provided as payment for the tickets. Davis offered to make change, taking the $100 bills but never returning.

In one such case, Davis approached a 73-year-old woman at a credit union, asking the victim if she recognized her from a doctor’s office. Davis asserted she was selling the raffle tickets, at $10 per. The victim only had a $100 bill, which she gave to Davis. Davis stole the money.

The bank fraud charge stems from her befriending an 81-year-old man suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She accompanied the man to his bank, where she forged his signature on a check made out to “cash.”

When Davis attempted to cash the check, a teller noticed the hand-writing differences. David fled before police arrived. The victim, meanwhile, needed medical attention because of his illness.

Police were able to identify Davis through the Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole, leading to her arrest on May 16, 2016. She was serving parole through December 2017 for a purse snatching conviction.

Questioned by Kenner police, Davis confessed to the crimes and said she needed money to feed her crack cocaine addiction. During the arrest, officers found a rock of crack cocaine in her pocket and a glass pipe used to smoke crack. Police also found numbered raffle tickets in her pockets, her car and her apartment.

Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court accepted the guilty pleas. Davis will be returned to court Feb. 16, when Judge Sullivan will sentence her to 20 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Kellie Rish prosecuted the case.

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Waggaman man sentenced to 50 years for shooting that wounded toddler

A Waggaman man who was convicted last month for his role in a Marrero shooting that left a toddler critically injured was sentenced Tuesday (Jan. 17) to 50 years in prison.

Kedrick “KK” Anderson, 24, was convicted as charged of two counts of second-degree murder for his role in the July 13, 2013 shooting in the 2800 block of Mount Kennedy Drive. Anderson and several other gunman targeted a woman and her 2-year-old son because of a violent, ongoing dispute with the toddler’s father.

In announcing the sentence Tuesday, Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court noted that one of the victims was “a very small child.” He sentenced Anderson to 50 years in prison for each attempted second-degree murder count, the maximum for each crime, and ran the sentences concurrently. Anything less, Enright noted, would “denigrate the seriousness” of the crimes.

Although Anderson turned down Judge Enright’s invitation to speak to the court before the sentence, the judge found him in contempt of court after he refused to be quiet. The contempt of court hearing, and a multiple bill hearing, is set for Feb. 13.

A Jefferson Parish jury convicted Anderson of the attempted murder counts on Dec. 15. Anderson testified during the trial, denying he was involved in the shooting and asserting that he was misidentified as a shooter. Two co-defendants accused of involvement in the shooting await their trials.

Assistant District Attorneys Angad Ghai and Douglas Rushton prosecuted Anderson.

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