Authorities are looking for a man they say fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run on Veterans Boulevard Thursday (Feb. 27) then stopped at a drugstore where he shoved an elderly woman to the ground and drove off in her car.
Ehrhardt's Towncar was pushed into a telephone pole authorities said. After the wreck, the PT Cruiser fled westbound on Veterans Boulevard from the scene to a drugstore at the intersection of Bonnabel Boulevard. That's where Millsap shoved a 79-year-old New Orleans woman to the ground, took her keys and fled in her silver 2008, 4-door Honda Accord with license plate WWJ089, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities said the woman suffered minor injuries.
Investigators said Millsap was in town visiting relatives when he took the PT Cruiser without permission.
The sheriff's office issued a warrant for Millsap's arrest. He is wanted on charges of negligent homicide, felony hit and run involving a death and carjacking.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Millsap or the stolen Honda Accord is encouraged to contact the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office at 504.364.5300. Informants can also submit an anonymous tip to Crimestoppers, either by calling 504.822.1111, or submitting a tip online.
Marrero man shot in buttocks arrested after doctor finds cocaine in his clenched cheeks, authorities said
Akili Bailey, 20, of Marrero, and Treon Florant, not pictured, were arrested and booked on various warrants after deputies found the two shot in the 1900 block of Charleston Drive in Marrero on Saturday (Feb. 22). (JPSO)
Authorities arrested two men who were wounded in gunfire in Marrero over the weekend, including a 20 year old accused of hiding cocaine in his injured buttocks. Akili Bailey of Marrero, and Treon Florant, 21, were shot multiple times in the 1900 block of Charleston Drive in Marrero on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 22), according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Officereports.
Deputies were dispatched to the Charleston Drive residence just before 4 p.m. after receiving a report of a shooting. They arrived to find Bailey sitting out front in a chair with gunshot wounds to his buttock, leg and foot, the report said.
Florant lay face-up in the grass, a few feet from Bailey. He suffered gunshot wounds to the back of his of neck, leg and knee. Both were taken to LSU Interim Public Hospital in New Orleans where they were in stable condition, reports said.
But when paramedics tried to assist Bailey, he refused to get up and appeared to be "clenching his buttocks together," the arrest report said. Authorities may have suspected his behavior was due to the location of his injury.
But a doctor who treated Bailey at the hospital retrieved a small bag containing 2.5 grams of cocaine from his buttocks, the arrest report said. Bailey, of 5932 S. Oak Drive, Marrero, was booked Sunday with possession of derivatives of coca leaves as well as two outstanding warrants for simple battery and simple criminal damage to property.
Florant, of 1148 Cohen St., Marrero, was booked on warrants issued in January for aggravated assault with a firearm and use of a firearm in connection with drug activity or violence. No information was available about the cases connected to Bailey and Florant's warrants.
The victims were uncooperative and refused to answer questions about the shooting, an incident report said. No arrests have been made in the case.
Anyone with information about Charleston Drive shootings in Marrero on Saturday Feb. (22) is asked to call the Sheriff's Office investigations bureau at 504.364.5300. The public can also call Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111 or toll-free at 877.903.7867. Tips can be texted to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637); text TELLCS then the crime information. Callers or texters do not have to give their names or testify and can earn a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an indictment.
For squeezing hamster to death in Metairie pet store, defendant must perform community service
Vincent Caracci, 21, of Metairie, pleaded guilty Monday (Feb. 24), to aggravated cruelty to animals. After a pet store clerk in Metairie told him to leave the animals alone at the business on March 27, Caracci picked up a hampster with his right hand and squeezed it. The small animal made a squeaking noise and stopped breathing, according to the arrest report. He was sentenced to two years of probation. (JPSO)
A Metairie man who squeezed a hamster to death at a Lakeside Shopping Center pet store pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated cruelty to animals. Vincent M. Caracci, 21, must serve two years' probation and perform 80 hours of community service, 24th Judicial DistrictJudge Steve Grefer ordered in accepting the plea.
A clerk at the now-closed Lakeside Pets told the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office that Caracci entered the store March 27, "began messing with the animals" and was "handling them rather roughly," according to his arrest report. She told Caracci to stop picking up the animals, but he took a hamster in his right hand and "continued to squeeze the animal until it made a loud squeaking noise and stop [sic] breathing," the deputy wrote.
The clerk said she asked Caracci what he did. "He said nothing but stared at (her) with a mean disposition," according to the report.
Caracci must undergo psychological evaluation at his own expense, Grefer ordered, and he's barred from owning pets while on probation.
His conviction may be expunged from his criminal record if he completes his probation, according to the plea agreement reached between his attorney, Ann Steinhardt, and prosecutor Rachel Africk.
At the time he was arrested, Caracci was on probation for possessing synthetic marijuana. He pleaded guilty to that charge in May and was given six months' probation. However, his probation was revoked after he was arrested for killing the hamster, and he was sentenced to six months in jail last month, records show.
Marrero teenager convicted of shooting 2-year-old boy in the face
Carl Baham, 19, of Marrero, was convicted of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of illegal use of a firearm. He shot a 2-year-old boy in the face, apparently by mistake, while shooting at that child's father in Harvey last year. (JPSO)
One of the 9-millimeter bullets punched through the door of a car driven by Byron Matthews Jr. In the back seat were his two children, one of whom, Byron Matthews III, was wounded.
The jury deliberated less than an hour Wednesday night, rejecting Baham's self-defense assertion and convicting him as charged. The verdict was announced about 9 p.m.
The father of a baby daughter, Baham faces possibly decades in prison when 24th Judicial District Judge Scott Schlegel sentences him next month. Attempted second-degree murder carries a sentencing range of 10 to 50 years in prison. Each gun charge is punishable by 10 to 20 years.
Baham was targeting Byron Matthews Jr., who drove up to his mother's apartment with Byron III and 5-month-old Madison Matthews. The elder Matthews is the victim of the attempted murder, while his children were the victims of the illegal use of firearm charges.
Dressed in jail-issued clothing and restrained by shackles, because he's serving a 2-year New Orleans sentence for burglary, Matthews testified he got out of his car and noticed Baham standing on Tensas Drive speaking with two neighborhood girls. He said he did not know Baham.
I saw my baby pointing to his face. I saw nothing but blood, so I put him in my lap." - Byron Matthews Jr. of his son, Byron Matthews III
That's when Matthews heard gunshots. He tried to back his car out, in an attempt to flee and to cover his children.
"I saw my baby pointing to his face," Matthews told the jury. "I saw nothing but blood, so I put him in my lap. I put him in my lap, and I drove him to the hospital."
At Ochsner Medical Center's West Bank campus near Gretna, two nurses grabbed the children, he testified. His son underwent surgery and survived, he said.
Witnesses identified Baham as the shooter. When questioned by Sheriff's Office detectives, Baham initially denied being in that neighborhood, Capt. Dennis Thornton testified.
Baham then changed his story and said he had dropped of his baby daughter and her mother at her apartment on Tensas Drive. He said he saw a man dressed in black exit a black Dodge Charger and start shooting at him. He said he fled to his home in Marrero and never called police.
In his final statement, Baham said he had dropped of his baby and her mother at Tensas Drive when he noticed a man he did not know -- Matthews -- get out of a car, retrieve a rifle and start shooting.
"My baby was right there by my side, and he had an AK-47. I didn't know what to do," Baham told Thornton in the recorded statement, which was played for the jury.
Baham said he returned fire and fled. "The gun, I threw it out the window," he told the detective. "I threw it out the window as I was pulling off."
Members of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office investigate after a 2-year-old was shot in the face in the 1600 block of Apache Drive in Harvey on Thursday afternoon, July 25, 2013Michael DeMocker, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune
Authorities never found Baham's pistol. And Thornton said there was no evidence that an AK-47 was fired at that scene. The only evidence of gunfire was the 9mm bullet casings that were ejected from Baham's pistol, Thornton testified.
Baham guessed that Matthews must have shot his son, a statement that claim Matthews denied in court. "Mr. Matthews, did you shoot your own son in the face?" asked Assistant District Attorney Matt Clauss, who prosecuted the case with Seth Shute "No, sir," Matthews replied.
Although they said they didn't know each other, Baham stared coldly at Matthews as deputies escorted him past the defense table to the witness stand Wednesday. They crossed paths while held in the parish jail on Monday and exchanged threatening words, authorities said in court documents.
Baham's attorney, Aidan Shah, questioned Matthews extensively about his criminal history, which includes a purse snatching conviction. Matthews indirectly admitted to violating conditions of his bond, but he denied affiliation with a street gang, which Shah alleged was the D.P.C. gang.
"Did it upset you he (Baham) was in your territory, talking to two females?" Shah asked Matthews. "No, sir," the witness replied.
While the jury heard questions of Matthews' alleged gang involvement, it heard nothing of Baham's affiliation with the Villa Boys. During an Dec. 18 pretrial hearing, Clauss questioned the defendant about his gang ties.
Baham denied being in a gang. And he denied that the Villa Boys was a gang.
"It's just like bad company corrupts good character," Baham testified last year "It's not no gang. It's people who chill. I grew up with them. We're just good friends."
Baham also said then that he had never owned a gun, contradicting what he told Thornton last year after the Harvey shooting. Following that hearing, Schlegel declined to reduce Baham's $250,000 bond. "Mr. Baham is a significant risk to our community," Schlegel said during the Dec. 18 hearing.
The suspected gunman who was arrested Thursday in the deadly robbery at the LaPlace Feed and Supply store profanely denied involvement in the crime. But Sheriff Mike Tregre said time-stamped surveillance video of the two suspects before and after the robbery indicates otherwise.
"We got' em," Tregre said, shortly after investigators led Charles McQuarter III away in handcuffs. McQuarter is one of two men arrested in the shooting death of 63-year-old Steve Finckbeiner and the wounding of his wife, Constance Finckbeiner, 58, at the couple's farm supply store on Tuesday.
While being escorted to a St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office vehicle, McQuarter said in response to a question from a reporter that he was "motherf------ innocent." The other suspect, Dracier Dewey,22, of Reserve, has confessed to his involvement in the robbery and told investigators that McQuarter was the shooter, authorities said.
Tregre said McQuarter, 22, of Reserve arrived at the detectives bureau with his attorney, Nghanna Gauff, shortly after noon. He would not answer any questions from authorities, the sheriff said.
Gauff recently represented McQuarter in another criminal matter, in which he wascharged with attempted second-degree murder in a Reserve shooting in 2012. The resolution of that charge could not be determined Thursday.
Dewey had called the Sheriff's Office on Wednesday evening, after seeing himself on thevideo surveillance that the Sheriff's Office released to the news media. He was booked with being a principal to first degree murder, principal to attempted first degree murder and principal to armed robbery. His bond has been set at $1.6 million.
McQuarter has been booked with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and violating probation. While there is no bond for first-degree murder, the bond for the rest of the charges was set at $1.2 million.
In the video surveillance Tregre said McQuarter is the man shown running with a cash register tucked under his arm. Authorities say the robbers stole that register from LaPlace Feed and Supply after shooting the Finckbeiners.
Tregre said additional video recorded before the robbery show images of the suspects wearing the same clothing as the video from after the robbery. "Everything coincides," Tregre said. "I can tell you all of their movements moments prior to the homicide, wearing the same clothing as the suspects running with the cash register. That video surveillance corrobates this video surveillance."
The cash register has not been found. Authorities say they don't know how much money was in it. Officers were trolling the Mississippi River levee on Thursday in search of it, Tregre said.
Authorities say the Finckbeiners were alone in the store when the robbery occurred. Tregre said the McQuarter and Dewey initially came into the store and asked the couple about shots for dogs. For unknown reasons, they were refused service and left the store, he said.
They returned almost immediately. "Things went very bad, very quickly," Tregre said.
Steve Finckbeiner was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to a hospital, where she was reportedly underwent surgery for a gunshot wound.
Tregre would not identify the type of gun used in the crime or say how many shots were fired, to protect the investigation. "There are some things I can and cannot say," he said. "I will have to hold off on that."
He has said it was Constance Finckbeiner who called 911 to report the shootings, but he would not elaborate on her injuries. He said she is recovering.
The Finckbeiners' family has been notified of the arrests and are "thankful," Tregre said. "Thankful, but still grieving."
A prayer vigil was held at the store Wednesday night, the day after St. John Parish's first homicide of 2014.
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