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.