A 54-year-old Marrero man whose DNA linked him to two seemingly unrelated crime scenes on opposite sides of the Mississippi River five years ago was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Monday (July 18), for his conviction of five counts of armed robbery.
Jonathan Isaac’s undoing was the two Newport cigarettes he smoked outside Subway stores in Marrero and Old Jefferson before he and a cohort rushed inside to rob the employees. He left behind his genetic material on the butts, providing Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives a break in solving the cases. He also was convicted of robbing a GameStop in Marrero.
Although three businesses were robbed, he was charged with five counts of armed robbery, one for each of the five employees who were the victims. During the robberies, each of the Subways had two employees working, and the GameStop had one employee at the time.
Judge Michael Mentz of the 24th Judicial District Court, sentenced Isaac to 55 years for each of the five counts and ran them concurrently. Judge Mentz granted prosecutors’ request to add five years to each count as an enhancement because firearms were used in the robberies.
The five-year enhancements were run consecutively to each of the 55-year sentences, for a total of 60 years.
Isaac’s cohort, Damion Savage, 42, of Harvey, also was sentenced to 60 years in prison in February. They robbed a Subway on Barataria Boulevard on March 6, 2011, a Subway on Jefferson Highway on March 23, 2011, and the GameStop on March 24, 2011.
Detectives, investigating what initially appeared to be unrelated robberies, found the Newport butts outside the two Subways and had them tested for DNA, according to testimony. Isaac’s genetic material was on both of them.
After identifying Isaac as a suspect, the detectives combed through his cellular phone records. They found numerous calls to Savage around the time of the robberies, who upon being questioned confessed. Cellular transmission towers also provided data showing the suspects were in the general area of the crimes when they occurred, according to testimony.
The detectives also recovered one of Isaac’s fingerprints from a video box behind the counter at the GameStop. In the business’s surveillance video, Isaac is seen touching that box, according to evidence presented during the trial.
Citing his client’s age, Isaac’s attorney objected to the sentence, saying that any punishment over 25 years means a life of imprisonment.
Assistant District Attorneys Angel Varnado and Douglas Rushton prosecuted Isaac.