Friday, October 11, 2013
State police are mourning the death of a 48-year-old sergeant who collapsed and died while on duty in Houma. A news release says Sgt. Brett Lange was a supervisor in the Houma field office of the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigation. He collapsed Thursday. He also had worked with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and the Franklin Police Department.
Not guilty pleas have been entered for two men in connection with a brief escape at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. The Advocate reports that 24-year-old convicted killer Aaron Francois (fran-SWAH') of Lafayette Parish, and a convicted rapist, 49-year-old Melvin Johnson of New Orleans; were charged in the Sept. 22 simple escape. Both are serving life sentences. Assistant Warden Cathy Fontenot has said a corrections official spotted the two crawling through the fence behind the prison's Camp C and alerted prison officials as the two scrambled over a Mississippi River levee.
A GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED A LAKE CHARLES WOMAN WHO ALLEGEDLY HELD A 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN HER HOME FOR NEARLY A WEEK AGAINST HER WILL. 30-YEAR-OLD LACEY CHEREE DRONET FACES CHARGES OF SECOND DEGREE KIDNAPPING, MOLESTATION OF A JUVENILE, AND GIVING DRUGS TO A PERSON UNDER 18. AUTHORITIES SAYS THAT ONCE, WHEN THE GIRL TRIED TO LEAVE, DRONET ATTACKED HER AND HELD A KNIFE TO HER THROAT, THREATENING TO KILL HER. THEY SAY DRONET RETURNED THE GIRL HOME ONLY AFTER SHE FOUND OUT DETECTIVES WERE LOOKING FOR THE GIRL.
For the 14 candidates hoping to win the congressional seat vacated by Rodney Alexander, the biggest challenge for the Oct. 19 open primary is just distinguishing themselves. The race hasn't drawn a great deal of interest, and the 5th District is sprawling, covering 24 parishes from northeast and central Louisiana into the southeast. Six men who currently hold elected office started with the highest name recognition and have gained the most traction, since a short timeline has made it more difficult to fundraise and campaign. Republican state Sen. Neil Riser is the front-runner and has drummed up the most cash.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office estimates that $40,000 worth of stolen items from Iberia and surrounding parishes have been recovered in a burglary investigation. A Thursday afternoon news release from Sheriff Louis Ackal says the items include electronics, utility trailers, motorcycles and even a farm tractor. The discovery of some of the items at an Iberia Parish residence led to an investigation that led detectives to another location, where they found more stolen items and illegal drugs. Three suspects have been arrested in the case and authorities were searching Thursday for a fourth.
A FOUR WEEK INVESTIGATION LED TO THE ARREST OF A LAFAYETTE MAN FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER AND STALKING. JULIE DARCY HAS MORE.
A CALCASIEU PARISH GRAND JURY REFUSED TO INDICT A RAGLEY MAN ON A CHARGE OF VEHICULAR HOMOCIDE FOR HITTING AND KILLING A BICYCLIST IN 2011. THE BICYCLIST, 48-YEAR-OLD DARRYL K FONTENOT WAS RIDING NORTH IN THE OUTSIDE LANE OF HIGHWAY 171 AT NIGHT WHEN HE WAS HIT FROM BEHIND AND KILLED. THE DRIVER, 26-YEAR-OLD CODY MICHAEL ARDOIN, WAS DETERMINED TO HAVE HAD A BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL OF POINT-ZERO-8-5 AT THE TIME, WHICH IS JUST ABOVE THE LEGAL LIMIT OF POINT-ZERO-8-ZERO. AUTHORITIES SAY THE BIKE FONTENOT WAS RIDING WAS NOT PROPERLY LIGHTED FOR THE NIGHT.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating a crash north of Vinton that killed a longtime employee of the parish. Authorities say 51-year-old Kent Laughlin was struck by an SUV at 10 a.m. Thursday while performing roadway maintenance. Parish Administrator Bryan Beam released a statement saying that Laughlin had worked for the parish's Public Works Department for nearly 20 years.
The driver of the SUV, whose name has not been released, was taken to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition.