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.