Author: Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office

Alvin Adams sentenced to 30 years for possessing child pornography

A Jefferson Parish judge on Wednesday (May 17) sentenced Alvin Adams to 30 years in prison for his conviction of possessing more than 800 pornographic images and videos of children.

A jury last week deliberated for about 25 minutes in finding Adams, 46, guilty as charged of possessing pornography involving juveniles under age 13.

Special agents with the Louisiana Bureau of Investigations found the illegal images and videos on Adams’ computer, which they seized in his home in the 3700 block of Bauvais Street in Metairie. The agents opened their investigation in August 2022, after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Adams saved the illegal images and videos in a folder on his computer desktop entitled “porn.” It contained sub-folders in which Adams saved the images by category.

A former Chalmette resident, Adams pleaded guilty in 2004 in St. Bernard Parish to indecent behavior with a juvenile. The Jefferson Parish jury that convicted him last week heard evidence about this prior conviction.

In announcing the 30-year sentence, Judge Frank Brindisi of the 24th Judicial District Court said “the trial and images left me speechless.”

Assistant District Attorneys Taylor Somerville and Piper Didier prosecuted the case.  

Convicted of killing his children’s mother, Kenny Rojas sentenced to life in prison

A Jefferson Parish judge on Tuesday (May 16) sentenced Kenny Rojas to spend the rest of his life in prison for his conviction of shooting his estranged girlfriend in the chest and fleeing, leaving her to die with their three young children.

Rojas, 38, was convicted as charged Thursday of second-degree murder for killing Lizeth Maldonado, 32, in their home in the 1200 block of Angus Drive in Harvey, on Feb. 27, 2022. He also was convicted of obstruction of justice, for getting rid of the revolver he used to kill her.

Amid an argument over infidelity, Rojas pressed a revolver to Maldonado’s left breast and fired once. Their 12-year-old daughter heard the gunshots, went to her parents’ bedroom and saw her father shooting her mother. “He killed me,” the child heard her mother said.

Rojas fled, leaving behind his daughter and sons, ages seven and eight. His daughter called 911, whose operator instructed the child on life-saving measures until deputies arrived minutes later. Maldonado died on the floor of her bedroom.

Rojas surrendered to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office about six hours later. At trial, he asserted he was trying to prevent Maldonado from shooting herself, and during the struggle over the revolver, it fired.

After denying a defense request for a new trial, 24th Judicial District Judge Nancy Miller noted Rojas’ trial testimony, in which he said his children lied. “You abandoned them as you abandoned your wife as she lay there bleeding on the floor,” she told Rojas.

For second-degree murder, she sentenced Rojas to the mandatory life sentence in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Judge Miller also sentenced Rojas to the maximum 40 years for obstruction of justice. She ran the sentences concurrently.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Leo Aaron prosecuted the case.

Jefferson Parish jury: Kenny Rojas murdered girlfriend, fled leaving their 3 children with dying mother

A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday (May 11) found Kenny Rojas guilty of fatally shooting his estranged girlfriend during an argument before he fled, leaving their three young children in their Harvey home with their dying mother.

Rojas, 38, was convicted as charged of the second-degree murder of Lizeth Maldonado, 32, who died Feb. 27, 2022, in the bedroom of her home in the 1200 block of Angus Drive. He also was convicted as charged of obstruction of justice, for getting rid of the revolver he used to commit the murder.

During the argument, in which Rojas accused Maldonado of having an affair, he pressed the barrel of his revolver against her left breast and fired one bullet. Their 12-year-old daughter was bathing when she heard the gunshot.

The child ran to the bedroom and saw her father shooting and pointing the pistol at her mother. She heard her mother say, “He killed me.”

Rojas told his daughter to call 911 and fled, leaving the child and her younger brothers, ages seven and eight, alone in the residence.

The 911 operator instructed the 12-year-old girl to perform CPR on her mother and to apply direct pressure to the bullet wound to slow the bleeding. As one of her brothers wailed in the background, the child performed the lifesaving tasks on her mother until the first Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived. Her mother died on the bedroom floor, just over 10 minutes after she called 911.

Immediately after he shot Maldonado, Rojas drove to Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego. It was there that members of his family met him and drove him away.

About six hours later, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a relative of Rojas’, saying he wanted to turn himself in. Deputies arrested Rojas at a Terrytown residence. Before his arrest, Rojas admitted to numerous family members that he shot Maldonado.

His daughter told detectives and a forensic child abuse interviewer that he shot her mother.

During trial, Rojas’ attorneys suggested that Maldonado’s family influenced her daughter’s saying that her father shot her mother. They also argued that Maldonado held the gun and pointed it at their client and then at herself. They asserted that their client tried to disarm Maldonado, and during the tussle, the bullet was fired.

However, based on the location of the bullet wound and the angle the bullet followed through her body, the defense theory is unlikely, according to the forensic pathologist.

The jury deliberated about one hour and 15 minutes before returning with its verdicts. Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Rojas on Tuesday (May 16).

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Leo Aaron prosecuted the case.


NOTE: This post was updated on May 16, 2023, to correct Ms. Maldonado’s age.

Alvin Adams convicted of possessing child pornography in Metairie home

A Jefferson Parish jury deliberated about 25 minutes on Tuesday evening (May 9) in finding Alvin Adams guilty of possessing more than 800 images of child pornography.

Adams, 46, of Metairie, was convicted as charged of one count of pornography involving juveniles under age 13.

The Louisiana Bureau of Investigation opened its investigation in August 2022 after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Special agents were led to Adams’ home in the 3700 block of Bauvais Street.

Although the special agents had a search warrant, Adams refused to allow them inside his home. The special agents, in turn, had to breach a door.

On the desktop of Adams’ computer, the special agents found a folder entitled “porn.” Within that folder were numerous subfolders in which Adams saved explicit images by category. In all, the special agents found more than 800 explicit images and videos.

The jury heard that Adams, a former Chalmette resident, pleaded guilty in 2004 in St. Bernard Parish to indecent behavior with a juvenile, a crime arising from an incident that occurred the year before.

Through his attorney, Adams asserted that the images were manipulated, and that the state did not prove that the computer was his. However, Adams had lived at the residence alone for a lengthy period.

Judge Frank Brindisi of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Adams on May 17.

Assistant District Attorneys Taylor Somerville and Piper Didier prosecuted the case.


Darryl Vinson convicted of brutalizing, dehumanizing girlfriend in Gretna

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday (May 3) found Darryl Vinson guilty of brutalizing and beating a woman as he held her captive in her Gretna home for three days in 2021.

Vinson, 60, of Marrero, was convicted as charged of attempted second-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree sexual battery and false imprisonment with a dangerous weapon. After reaching their verdicts, jurors told the judge they would like to return to court to see Vinson sentenced to prison.

The crimes occurred between Jan. 27, 2021 and Jan. 29, 2021, in the 48-year-old woman’s Claire Avenue home. “Over a three-day period,” the victim was “beaten, bound and brutalized at the merciless hands of this man,” Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Truhe told jurors in opening statements Tuesday.

Vinson hogtied the naked woman, forced her to sleep on the cold tile floor in a closet, made her crawl on all fours when he let her leave the closet, kicked her and inserted the barrel of her pistol into her body. He stabbed her in the forehead and left lacerations from a serrated knife blade just below her neck.

To prevent her from crying aloud, he inserted dirty underwear and socks into her mouth and used duct tape to keep them in place. He forced her to eat cat food and injected methamphetamine into her body. He wouldn’t let her use her phone.

Using a chord, he strangled her at least three times. “She lost consciousness on three occasions,” Assistant District Attorney Tommy Block told jurors in closing argument Wednesday. “She woke up one time, and she thought she was dead.”

The victim’s injuries included brain bleeding, a fractured eye socket for which she has a titanium plate, fractured ribs, a bruised lung and numerous lacerations and ligature marks on her neck, wrists and ankles. She was hospitalized for 12 days, four of which were spent in an intensive care unit.

The sexual assault nurse examiner who documented the victim’s injuries testified that the case is “one of the most severe that I’ve seen.”

Vinson, who was homeless, met the woman outside a Gretna-area drugstore and befriended her. Their platonic relationship evolved into a romantic one. He moved in with her.

Just days after she had surgery to treat a hernia, on Jan. 27, 2021, the victim accompanied Vinson to his mother’s home in Marrero. Feeling the pain of her surgery, she returned to her Gretna home. Vinson arrived later and began accusing her of having sex with another man – assertions she denied.

The physical abuse began and continued until Jan. 29, 2021. After flashing a pistol at her, Vinson forced the victim to walk to Manhattan Boulevard and the Westbank Expressway in Harvey to panhandle motorists.

Soon after, witnesses began calling 911 to report Vinson beating the victim. In one 911 recording, a caller described the victim as being “black and blue and covered in blood.” Gretna police, which investigated the crimes, found much of her home in disarray, except for the master bedroom that smelled of bleach because of Vinson’s attempt to clean it.

Vinson’s attorney argued that his client and the victim wrangled with substance abuse problems, and that her recollections about what occurred might not be as clear as she now asserts.

The jury that was seated on Monday deliberated for about one hour Wednesday before returning with its unanimous verdicts. Judge Ray Steib of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Vinson on June 15.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Tommy Block prosecuted the case.



In ‘Ramos’ retrial, Ivory Franklin convicted anew in Harvey teen’s murder

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday night (March 29) found Ivory Franklin guilty of shooting a teenager in the back of his head as they walked along a Harvey drainage canal bank. Franklin also was convicted of attempting to kill a second teenager in the same shooting.

Franklin, 25, of Harvey, is guilty as charged of the second-degree murder of Reginald Black, 17, and the attempted second-degree murder of Black’s 15-year-old nephew, jurors unanimously decided after two hours of deliberations.

This marked the third time Franklin stood trial for the killings. In October 2017, a jury could not reach a legal verdict, resulting in a mistrial. The following year, a second trial was held. He was convicted as charged. He received a life sentence plus 40 years.

However, Franklin was granted a new trial in September 2020, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided in its Ramos v. Louisiana decision that non-unanimous jury verdicts are unconstitutional. The jury in Franklin’s second trial did not return with unanimous verdicts.

About 3 a.m., on May 5, 2016, Franklin, then 18, and the victims were walking along the canal’s concrete embankment behind homes on Windmere Court in the Woodmere subdivision, en route to a convenience store. They were walking in a single-file line, with Black in the front and the 15-year-old in the rear.

Black asked for a light for his cigarette when Franklin pulled the revolver out from his waistband and fired once into the back of Black’s head. He then turned to the 15-year-old behind him and began shooting. One bullet ricocheted off the concrete embankment.

In testimony Wednesday, the victim stared unflinchingly at Franklin as he described seeing Black shot to death. He leapt into the canal water and emerged on the other side to seek help by banging on a resident’s front door. That resident called 911. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded found Black lying face-down on the canal bank.

Franklin denied it. He blamed the 15-year-old, whom he accused of smoking marijuana and was playing with a pistol when it discharged.

The jury that was seated on Tuesday deliberated two hours before returning with its verdicts at 11:30 p.m., Wednesday. Judge Donnie Rowan of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Franklin on April 28.

Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Stephen Downer prosecuted the case.


Willie Ray Moses, former middle school teacher, gets 30 years for sexually abusing a youth, child pornography,

A Jefferson Parish judge has sentenced Willie Ray Moses to 30 years in prison, after the former Kenner middle school teacher pleaded guilty to charges including molesting a juvenile.

Moses, 42, of Metairie, pleaded guilty as charged on Monday (March 28) to sexual battery, oral sexual battery, computer solicitation of a juvenile and three counts of possession of pornography involving juveniles.

The Louisiana Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into Moses in March 2019, after agents received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography on the internet. The investigation led to Moses’ arrest in July 2019. At the time, he was an English teacher at Tom Benson Middle School.

In June 2020, the mother of a 15-year-old contacted the LBI about inappropriate text messages between Moses and her child several years earlier. Moses solicited pornographic images from and engaged in sexual contact with the juvenile.

Judge Scott Schlegel of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Moses to 30 years in prison for two counts of possession of pornography involving juveniles, 10 years for computer solicitation of a juvenile, 20 years for the third count of possession of pornography involving juveniles, 10 years for sexual battery and 10 years for oral sexual battery.

The sexual battery and oral sexual battery sentences will run consecutive to each other and concurrently to the other sentences.

Judge Schlegel ran the sentences concurrently, for a total of 30 years, to be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Further, the sexual battery charge is designated as a crime of violence.

Following his release from prison, Moses will register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Judge Schlegel ordered.

Assistant District Attorney Alyssa Aleman prosecuted the case.

Jefferson Parish DA, Sheriff’s Office cold-case team gets Crimestoppers award


Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans on Tuesday (March 14) recognized a Jefferson Parish cold-case investigative and prosecution team with its Law Enforcement Unit of the Year “Protector Award,” for solving and bringing closure to a 45-year-old case involving the rape and murder of a 5-year-old Waggaman girl.

Nancy Michel, chief of the District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Division, Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Shannon Swaim and the late District Attorney investigator John Ronquillo were recognized for their work in solving the sexual assault and death of Stephanie Hebert.

Retired WWL-TV anchor Karen Swenson accepted the award on behalf of her husband, John Ronquillo who died in 2018.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dennis Thornton, Lt. David Mascaro and detectives Jesus Falcon and Jerry Devorak also were recognized for their work on Stephanie Hebert’s case.

Stephanie Hebert went missing on June 13, 1978. Her remains were found five months later tied to a tree in a wooded area in St. Charles Parish.

The case went cold until an effort led by Nancy Michel prompted the District Attorney’s Office and Capt. Thornton of the JPSO Cold-Case Squad to re-examine the case, leading to the arrest and indictment of Jason Franklin Sr., for three counts of aggravated rape in 2019. These crimes involved Stephanie Hebert and two other child victims.

The District Attorney’s Office was in the process of reviewing the case on Franklin for Stephanie Hebert’s death when he died in prison in 2021. Meanwhile, a key witness in the case died tragically in an automobile accident in New Orleans that same year.

“Despite this outcome, and based on the posture of this case in 2021 and the evidence accumulated, investigators have closed Stephanie Hebert’s murder by exceptional means, declaring Jason Franklin Sr., the suspect responsible for her murder,” Crimestoppers said.

Tonny Bauer convicted of carjacking woman at Metairie pizzeria

A Jefferson Parish jury Wednesday night (March 8) found Tonny J. Bauer guilty of carjacking for forcibly removing a 58-year-old woman from her vehicle moments after she purchased pizzas.

It was about 8 p.m., on May 8, 2020, when Bauer, 37, entered the victim’s 2021 Nissan Rogue through the passenger-side door outside a pizza business in the 5000 block of West Esplanade Avenue.

The victim walked out of the business with her pizzas and noticed Bauer crouching down nearby, she told the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. She entered her Rogue and placed the pizzas on the passenger’s seat. That’s when Bauer entered the vehicle.

He choked the victim as she tried to flee. After she escaped, Bauer drove away. About a half-hour later, Causeway police responded to a one-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes of the Causeway bridge. Police determined it was the stolen vehicle, and after he appeared to attempt to climb the bridge’s railing, Bauer was arrested.

Police also found the victim’s pizza in the car. It was still hot and partially eaten.

Bauer alleged self-defense, saying he was at his home near the pizza business when he thought someone was breaking into the house. Leaving his shoes and eyeglasses behind, Bauer asserted that he ran to the pizza business and got into the victim’s car in thinking she could help him.

Jurors deliberated less than 1 ½ hours before returning with their unanimous verdict. Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Bauer on March 22.

Assistant District Attorneys Carolyn Chkautovich and Alyssa Aleman prosecuted the case.

Viusqui Perez-Espinosa sentenced, again, to life in prison for Kenner murder, dismemberment

A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Feb. 9) sentenced Viusqui Perez-Espinosa to life in prison for murdering his rival in a Kenner love triangle before cutting up the body and dumping the parts in a St. John the Baptist Parish swamp.

Perez, 50, was convicted as charged last week of the second-degree murder of Ives Alexis Portales-Lara.  Portales was last seen alive on the evening of Jan. 11, 2016, in the Baylor Place apartment complex he shared with a woman and her ex-boyfriend, Perez.

Portales, who moved to the New Orleans area to be near his young daughter, was a native of Honduras and was 28.

Perez was convicted of the murder and of obstruction of justice in 2018. But the jury in that trial returned with a non-unanimous verdict on the murder count. Perez received a new trial for the murder, only, in 2020, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ramos vs. Louisiana that non-unanimous verdicts are unconstitutional.

The second jury seated to weigh the murder charge deliberated about four hours before returning with its unanimous guilty verdict on Jan. 31.

Perez and Portales were friends and coworkers whose commonality extended to a woman. Perez was sexually involved with her, but that relationship ended after she needed medical care that took her out of the United States briefly and he became involved with another woman.

Portales moved into the apartment with Perez’s ex, and that arrangement evolved into a sexual relationship. Perez, who temporarily moved back into the apartment, learned of the relationship and wanted to end it. On the morning of Jan. 11, 2016, Perez sexually assaulted the woman in the apartment after Portales departed to work. He returned to the apartment that evening and was never seen again.

The following month, a fisherman found the right arm in the Reserve Canal off Interstate 10, just west of LaPlace. The torso and leg parts were found by pipeline workers in the area the following week. The remaining body parts were never located.

DNA was used to confirm the parts were Portales’, leading to Perez’s indictment and convictions. At trial, he asserted self-defense.

Following the first trial, Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Perez to the 40-year maximum for obstruction of justice, for his attempts to conceal the murder. The jury was unanimous on that charge, and his conviction remained intact. The life sentence she gave him in 2018 was overturned due to the Ramos decision.

On Thursday, Judge Kovach denied the defense’s motions for post-verdict judgment of acquittal and for a new trial. After hearing impact statements written by Portales’ family in Honduras, Judge Kovach sentenced Perez to the mandatory punishment of life in prison, without suspension of sentence, parole or probation, for killing Portales.

Judge Kovach ran the life sentence consecutive to the 40-year sentence she gave him in 2018 for obstruction of justice, and consecutive to the 6-month jail sentence she gave Perez last week in holding him in contempt for his lashing out at a prosecutor during her cross-examination.

Judge Kovach further denied a defense motion to reconsider the sentence, saying “the facts and circumstances of this case are particularly egregious.”

Assistant District Attorneys Kellie Rish and Richard Olivier prosecuted the case.