Houma man sentenced to life plus 40 years for killing Slidell man, burning his SUV

A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (June 28) sentenced Terrance Calloway of Houma to life in prison plus 40 years, for his conviction of killing a Slidell man in Harvey during a robbery.

Judge Michael Mentz of the 24th Judicial District Court also found Calloway in direct contempt of court and sentenced him to three months in jail, after Calloway repeatedly refused to obey the judge’s orders to stand to receive his sentence.

Calloway, 30, shot Cordaryle Robert in the face on June 25, 2016, and left him to die in drainage ditch in the 3600 block of Peters Road. Calloway then drove Robert’s 2003 Cadillac Escalade’s to a sugarcane field near Thibodaux, where he removed the tires and rims, doused the interior with gasoline and ignited it.

A Jefferson Parish jury on June 13 found Calloway guilty as charged of second-degree murder for killing Robert and obstruction of justice for taking and burning Robert’s vehicle in a sugarcane field near Thibodaux.

The father of four children, Robert was described in impact testimony as being a hard-working man who loved cars and horses – he belongs to a riding club.

“Cordaryle was a warm-hearted young man who worked to provide for his family,” his fiancé Jaleesa Lewis wrote to the court.

Robert was lured into the crime by Calloway’s wife, Dana Lemar, 25, also of Houma. She pleaded guilty on April 16 to manslaughter and received a 25-year prison sentence for her role in the crimes.

Pursuant to her plea agreement, Lemar testified that she met Robert through Facebook and eventually lured him to Boomtown Casino with a plan to rob him, having seen photos of with cash and expensive auto rims on his SUV, according to trial evidence.

In following Calloway’s plan, Lemar directed Robert to the 3600 block of Peters Road, where Robert was led to believe that Lemar’s aunt’s vehicle had broken down.

As Robert attempted to offer mechanical assistance, Calloway appeared from the darkness and shot him. Lemar testified she was unaware Calloway would kill Robert. A passing motorist spotted Robert’s body in the ditch four days later, according to trial evidence.

After denying defense motions for a new trial and post-verdict judgment of acquittal on Thursday, Judge Mentz sentenced Calloway to the mandatory life sentence for the murder and 40 years for the obstruction of justice. Judge Mentz ran the sentences consecutive.

After repeatedly refusing to stand for receive his sentence, Calloway stood only after his sister had an outburst in the audience. Noting that the woman spoke out in court and used foul language, Judge Mentz held the woman in direct contempt of court and ordered her to pay a $200 fine.

Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Lindsay Truhe prosecuted the case.