A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Sept. 30) sentenced Twyena Thomas to life in prison for her conviction of killing her 28-month-old son, Chase Thomas.
On the two-year anniversary of Chase’s death, Thomas, 29, appeared in court to receive the mandatory punishment for second-degree murder. A Jefferson Parish jury on Aug. 22 convicted her as charged for causing her son’s death in their Kenner apartment through blunt-force trauma injuries to his head. Chase also weighed a mere 15 pounds at death.
“Chase’s scars, scabs, bruises, his broken skull and his 15-pound body tell us that you were the hateful monster.”
“Chase died alone in his room, scared not of the imaginary monster in his closet, but you. You were the monster. Chase’s scars, scabs, bruises, his broken skull and his 15-pound body tell us that you were the hateful monster,” 24th Judicial District Judge Danyelle Taylor said in sentencing Thomas to life at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
After denying post-verdict motions for a new trial, Judge Taylor heard letters written by six people and two witnesses before handing down the sentence. The defendant addressed the Court prior to sentencing and stated that Chase “didn’t deserve that.”
Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Whitworth and Jenny Voss prosecuted the case.
A Jefferson Parish judge sentenced Rafael Chinchilla to 60 years in prison Thursday (Sept. 12), for his conviction of sexually abusing a child.
Chinchilla, 33, a native of Honduras, was convicted by a Jefferson Parish jury on Aug. 30 of sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13, indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13 and indecent behavior with a juvenile.
The abuse began when the victim was 11 years old and continued until she was 13. The crimes occurred in Metairie and Kenner, during which Chinchilla sent her text messages both professing his love for her and threatening her. Police were notified in February 2017, after the victim’s father searched her mobile device and found evidence of the abuse, including audio of the victim telling Chinchilla to stop.
After hearing impact testimony from the victim and her father, Judge E. Adrian Adams of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Chinchilla to 60 years for the sexual battery, 20 years for the indecent behavior of a juvenile under age 13 and seven years for the indecent behavior with a juvenile. The sentences were run concurrently.
Judge Adams also ordered that, should Chinchilla be released from prison, he be electronically monitored and register as a sex offender for life.
Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Clauss and Emily Booth prosecuted the case.
A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Sept. 9) sentenced David Rees of Metairie to 30 years in prison after the defendant pleaded guilty as charged to crimes involving children.
In addition, Rees, 49, will register as a sex offender for life and face a lifetime of electronic monitoring should he be released from prison, 24th Judicial District Judge Stephen Enright ordered in accepting the guilty pleas.
Rees pleaded guilty to seven counts of pornography depicting children under age 13, oral sexual battery and molestation of a juvenile. Rees had been scheduled to stand trial on the charges this week.
Rees was arrested in January after the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found pornographic images and videos depicting children on his home computer, cellphone, email and other locations. He was also arrested for sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy in 1996. The victim was under the care of Rees’ mother, who ran an unlicensed childcare business from her home, when the abuse occurred.
Judge Enright sentenced Rees to 30 years on each of the seven pornography counts, 15 years for the oral sexual battery and 15 years for the molestation of a juvenile. He ran the sentences concurrently and ordered that the sentences be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys Lynn Schiffman and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.