Month: February 2022

Jacob Robinson guilty of Harvey armed robberies, aggravated battery

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday (Feb. 16) found Jacob Robinson of Harvey guilty of robbing a family at gunpoint in their home and shooting a victim in the head during a struggle for the pistol. He was arrested after the victims turned on him and knocked him to the ground with a brick.

Robinson, 35, was convicted as charged of two counts of armed robbery and one count of aggravated battery.

The incident happened on March 29, 2020, in an apartment in the 1000 block of Orange Blossom Lane in Harvey. According to trial testimony, a man, his girlfriend, their two children and his cousin lived at the apartment.

His face covered with a mask and carrying a pistol, Robinson entered the apartment without knocking and demanded they give up money and cell phones. The girlfriend and one of her children were upstairs at the time, according to testimony.

One of the men gave up money and his phone. Then Robinson pointed the pistol at the other man, who was the children’s father. He pulled $10 from his pocket and threw it on the floor and handed over his cell phone, he testified.

Robinson then began backing up and holding his pistol up, leading the father to fear he was about to be shot, he testified. He then lunged at Robinson, and during the scuffle, the pistol discharged. The bullet grazed the father’s head and lodged in the ceiling.

The cousin then struck Robinson with the brick. The family called 911, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on the scene to find Robinson still present.

Robinson told deputies that he was the victim, and that he knew the residents who robbed and beat him. During this week’s trial, he further asserted that he went to the apartment because he was the residents’ illegal narcotics supplier and went to the apartment for a transaction.

The jury rejected the defense assertions and returned with its unanimous verdicts against Robinson, who has a history of convictions that include theft and battery.

Judge Donnie Rowan of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Robinson on March 17.

Assistant District Attorneys Christina Fisher and Jennifer Voss prosecuted the case.

Terrell Nix guilty of killing autistic, intellectually disabled man

A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday night (Feb. 10) found Terrell Nix guilty in the death of an autistic, intellectually disabled man with limited communication skills whose disabilities left him completely dependent on the care of others.

Nix, 36, of Gretna, was convicted as charged of the second-degree murder of Rohn Brinker, 46, who died May 14, 2019, in the Terrytown apartment where he lived. Nix was employed by his mother, Denise Nix, who operated a home-healthcare company that provided Brinker with 24-hour care.

Nix worked the overnight shifts. A half-hour after his shift began on May 13, 2019, Nix used his cell phone to make a video of Brinker, who appeared terrified, whose lip was bloodied and stood zombie-like in responding to Nix’s barked orders, according to the video that was shown to jurors.

Two hours later, Nix called his mother, who in turn went to Brinker’s Holmes Boulevard apartment. Shortly after, she called 911, saying Brinker had fallen in the bathtub and was unresponsive.

During the autopsy, forensic pathologist Dana Troxclair found that Brinker had ligature wounds on his neck, suggesting strangulation; that a rib on his right side had been broken and punctured his lung; and that he suffered deep skin hemorrhages and brain swelling. He additionally had injuries suggesting he had been dragged across the floor and bruising on his arms suggestive of defensive wounds.

Dr. Troxclair determined that the cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma. She classified the death as a homicide, leading to Nix’s arrest and indictment for second-degree murder.

Investigators found blood spatter on bathroom walls and the vanity mirror and evidence of someone trying to clean it up.

Nix underwent more than seven hours of interrogation by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives, during which he told numerous lies, according to testimony. He did not testify during the trial, and his attorney argued that the evidence needed to charge his client was lacking.

Neighbors who deputies interviewed described hearing what sounded like “a war zone” in Brinker’s apartment, Detective Anthony Buttone testified. Another neighbor who had observed Nix and Brinker interacting likened it to military “boot camp,” according to testimony.

Denise Nix, his mother, was initially booked with manslaughter and obstruction of justice in connection with the incident. Charges were refused because of insufficient evidence.

The jury that was seated on Monday returned with the unanimous guilty verdict after about one hour of deliberation.

Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Nix on Feb. 22. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Vanderhooft and Matthew Whitworth prosecuted the case.



Metairie man sentenced to 35 years in barroom manslaughter

A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Feb. 10) sentenced Maurice “Marlo” Leach to 35 years in prison for his conviction of killing Michael Shawn Brown in a Metairie lounge.

Leach, 36, was convicted by a jury on Nov. 10 of manslaughter for the May 25, 2019, shooting inside the lounge in the 4500 block of South Interstate 10 Service Road.

During an argument, Leach removed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pants waistband, reached over a peacemaking woman who was separating the men and shot Brown in the face. Brown, 49, fell to the ground beside the bar and died, according to trial evidence. The entire incident was recorded from several angles by the business’s security camera system. Jurors were shown the recordings.

Leach walked out of the bar and was arrested a week later in New Jersey. He also was convicted of obstruction of justice for removing and discarding the pistol he used to shoot Brown in the face.

Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Leach to 20 years for obstruction of justice and ran it concurrently with the 35-year sentence he gave the man for the manslaughter charge.

Leach faced a mandatory life sentence in prison had he been convicted as charged of second-degree murder. During his trial, he asserted a justifiable homicide defense, in which he asked the jury to acquit him of the killing. The jury returned with a verdict of manslaughter, which carries a maximum punishment of 40 years in prison.

In a plea for leniency on Thursday, Leach asked Judge Enright to give him “time served,” meaning the time he was held in Jefferson Parish Correctional Center awaiting trial. He said he found religion while incarcerated, asserted he had been “rehabilitated,” and asked to not be defined by the mistake of killing Brown.

In a letter read to the court, one of Brown’s daughters said her father was killed as she was in her final semester of college, and that her younger sister was preparing to begin college. She wrote that her father won’t be there for her at her wedding in the fall, and that his death cause emotional and financial damage to the family. She asked the judge to sentence Leach to the maximum time available under law.

Among the evidence he said he considered in preparing for the sentencing, Judge Enright said he reviewed Leach’s statement to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives who arrested him. Leach, the judge said, only had remorse for himself.

Assistant District Attorney Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.

Raymond Kimble gets 68-year sentence in Metairie crime spree

A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Feb. 7) sentenced Raymond H. Kimble III to 68 years in prison for his convictions of breaking into eight Metairie homes, stealing an automobile from one of those homes and of fleeing deputies at high speeds through Old Metairie in the Spring of 2016.

Kimble, 36, of River Ridge, was convicted as charged by a jury on Dec. 17 of eight counts of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, one count of theft and aggravated flight from an office in connection with the crime spree.

He and his co-defendant Brian Ernst committed the first burglary on March 7, 2015, followed by two more two days later. They hit the remaining five Metairie homes on April 13, 2016.

Common among the homes was that each had side driveways connecting the streets to the back yards, according to trial testimony. Also common was that the burglars broke out glass doors to gain entry to the homes. Each home was badly ransacked

They stole firearms, prescription medicine, jewelry, electronics and money. Stored on one stolen computer system was the only copy of a victim’s wedding photographs, according to evidence presented at trial.

During one of the burglaries, Kimble swiped keys to a resident’s vehicle. He returned to the home that evening to steal resident’s 2011 Hyundai SUV, according to trial evidence. For that, he was convicted of theft.

Throughout the crime spree, Kimble drove a pick-up truck that had been stolen in St. Tammany Parish. And during this period, he also was committing property crimes in East Baton Rouge Parish.

During one incident in Baton Rouge, he and Ernst were fleeing police and broke into a residence to hide. While there, the resident returned to his home and found Kimble and Ernst inside. They beat and hogtied the resident. Authorities linked Kimble and Ernst to the crimes through their DNA, which was recovered from the water bottles they left in that victim’s home, according to evidence presented at trial.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, electronically tracked a stolen laptop to an apartment in a large complex in the 3400 block of Severn Avenue. They began knocking on doors and quickly found the right apartment. When questioned, a resident pointed the detectives to two laptops, which she said Ernst left with her boyfriend in hopes that he could clean the hard drive for resale, according to trial testimony.

At Ernst’s home, detectives found more than 50 items that had been stolen in the Metairie burglaries.  Ernst also implicated Kimble. They also found evidence showing that Kimble melted stolen gold jewelry so he could sell the alloy.

The aggravated flight charge involved Kimble’s fleeing deputies in the stolen pickup truck. According to evidence presented at trial, deputies spotted Kimble driving on Metairie Road. He fled at speeds reaching 70 mph through residential streets with 25 mph speed limits.

He abandoned the pickup while it was still moving in the 500 block of Labarre Road. The pickup came to a rest on a front lawn. He was later caught hiding in a shed in the 1600 block of Forshey Street, according to trial testimony.

In 2018, Ernst, 36, of Metairie, pleaded guilty to eight counts of simple burglary, two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and one count of theft. He received a 12-year prison sentence.

Although he had public defenders appointed to represent him, Kimble acted as his own counsel and gave closing argument to the jury. He denied committing the crimes. The jury deliberated less than 1 ½ hours in finding him guilty of all charges.

During Monday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Raymond Steib of the 24th Judicial District Court denied Kimble’s request for a new trial, for a post-verdict judgment of acquittal and a motion to reconsider the sentence. He also heard impact testimony from one of the victims.

A breakdown of Judge Steib’s sentence shows:

  • Kimble received six years in prison for each of the eight burglary counts, which were run consecutive for a total of 48 years.
  • Kimble was sentenced to eight years for the theft of the Hyundai, and that was run concurrently to one of the burglary counts.
  • He received a 5-year sentence for the aggravated flight. But after Kimble pleaded guilty to being a multiple offender, Judge Steib resentenced him to 20 years on the count, bringing the total to 68 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Jennifer Voss prosecuted the case.