Former APSO deputy arrested for Simple Battery

James Atkins II, 34, a former Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, was arrested on Feb. 14 and booked into the Ascension Parish Prison on one count of Simple Battery. The charges stem from an investigation, which was conducted into a report taken by Gonzales Patrol Officers from Feb. 8, where officers responded to a disturbance call made by Atkins at his residence located at 910 Janice Ave.

On Feb. 9, one of the parties involved in the altercation at his residence, whom was gone prior to officers arrival on Feb. 8, came into the police department and reported additional information, which lead to the arrest of Atkins.

He voluntarily surrendered in compliance with the warrant, which was issued for his arrest by the Gonzales Police Department.

Prairieville man indicted on charges including First Degree Rape

On Feb. 13, an Ascension Parish Grand Jury returned a True Bill of Indictment on Stephen Janis, 55, of Prairieville, on the charges of First Degree Rape, False Imprisonment with a Dangerous Weapon, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm and Second Degree Battery.

Janis is accused of raping, beating and holding a woman against her will in November 2016. Investigators with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a local hospital where they made contact with the victim who advised them of the incident.

Assistant District Attorney Shawn Bush is the lead prosecutor on this case.

Gonzales man receives sentence after 2015 burglary

 On Feb. 14, David Holcombe of Gonzales, age 25, pled guilty to the charge of Simple Burglary. Holcombe was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert. The guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a 2015 burglary.

On Oct. 19, 2015, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Bayou Narcisse Road in Gonzales in reference to a burglary. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with the homeowner who advised that some items were missing from two vehicles parked under the car port. The homeowner advised that the home is equipped with security cameras.

Investigators reviewed the video surveillance and were able to view the suspect entering the two unlocked vehicles and gaining entry into the garage through a side door. The homeowner noted several miscellaneous items that were missing. Investigators released a portion of the video surveillance to the media and shortly after received a Crime Stoppers tip that the individual in the video Holcombe.

Investigators also located a DNA sample on the scene that was consistent with Holcome’s DNA profile. Holcombe was arrested and transported to the Ascension Parish Jail where he confessed to the burglary and was booked accordingly.

Upon entering a guilty plea to the above charge, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, Judge Kliebert ordered that Holcombe be committed to the Louisiana Department of Corrections for a period of 10 years with credit for time served.

New Orleans man pleads guilty to Ascension bank fraud

On Feb. 15, Frank Nelson of 7543 Tricia Court, New Orleans, 60, pled guilty to Bank Fraud. Nelson was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over the matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert.

On June 3, 2015, deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a Prairieville bank regarding the cashing of a fraudulent check. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with an employee who advised that on May 5, 2015, a black male subject entered the bank and cashed a check in an amount exceeding $2,000. The check appeared to be issued by a Baton Rouge business to a subject by the name of Frank Nelson.

It was later determined that the checks were “homemade”. Investigators viewed surveillance video and were able to positively identify the individual cashing the check as Nelson. An arrest warrant was issued, and he was subsequently arrested on May 17, 2016. Nelson was transported to the Ascension Parish Jail where he was booked accordingly.

Per Judge Kliebert, sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation. Nelson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Gonzales Man Pleads Guilty to Burglary of Local Church Storage Building

On Feb. 15, Michael Duplessis, 34, of 43017 Weber City Road, Gonzales, pled guilty to Simple Burglary. Duplessis was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert. The guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a 2016 burglary.

On July 13, 2016, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant regarding a burglary. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with a church employee who advised that he was doing maintenance around the church when he made contact with an unknown white male subject.

The subject advised that he was looking for the food bank. The employee continued to work around the church after directing the subject to the food bank. A short while later, the employee went to the storage shed where he observed that a tool box containing miscellaneous tools was missing.

Deputies were able to identify the unknown subject as Duplessis. Deputies were able to make contact with a relative of Duplessis who advised that he was in possession of the tool box in question and had gotten it at the church.

He was subsequently arrested and booked into the Ascension Parish Jail. It should be noted that Duplessis has two prior burglary convictions.

Upon entering a plea of guilty to the above charge, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, Judge Kliebert ordered that Duplessis be committed to the Louisiana Department of Corrections for a period of 10 years with credit for time served. 

Gonzales Man Pleads Guilty to Burglary and Theft Charges

On Feb. 13, Bret Millet, 52, of 14490 Lake Crossing Drive Gonzales, pled guilty to Simple Burglary, Theft of Goods Valued at $1500 or more, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Millet was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Amy Colby, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets. This guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a 2015 residential burglary.

On July 6, 2015, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Stafford Estates Subdivision Road, Gonzales, in reference to a residential burglary. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with the complainant who advised that when he arrived at his father’s residence, he observed that the front door was wide open.

The complainant also advised that there were multiple miscellaneous items missing from throughout the residence. Investigators dusted for fingerprints and were able to swab a small amount of blood on a piece of glass that had been broken during the burglary. The blood sample was sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab where it was analyzed for potential DNA. The blood sample matched the DNA composition of Bret Millet. Deputies also located Millet’s identification card on the ground near the residence.

An arrest warrant was then issued for Millet. On July 7, 2015, sheriff’s deputies made contact with Millet at his residence and advised him of the arrest warrant. While Millet was being placed into handcuffs, deputies observed that Millet was holding a “crack pipe”, or device commonly used for smoking crack cocaine. He was arrested and transported to the Ascension Parish jail where he was booked accordingly.

Guilty Pleas

During the week of Feb. 13 to Feb. 17, the following defendants pled guilty to various charges and were sentenced in the 23rd Judicial District Court, parishes of Ascension, Assumption and St. James.

Ascension Parish

Cyril Ezumezu, 1223 N. Coolidge Ave., Gonzales, 30, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Morris Miles, 502 Front St. Donaldsonville, 24, pled guilty to Aggravated Battery and was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Travis Parent, 32588 Jasmin Lane, Denham Springs, 27, pled guilty to Negligent Homicide. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

David Holcombe, 12386 Cleo Road, Gonzales, 25, pled guilty to Simple Burglary and was sentenced to 10 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Grayln Leduff, 2444 Valley St., Baton Rouge, 45, pled guilty to Simple Burglary. Sentencing is set for March 27.

Delynn Ricks, 909 S Abe Ave., Gonzales, 24, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Santos Torrez, 40436 Kathy St., Gonzales, 53, pled guilty on Nov. 28, 2016, to the charge of DWI Third Offense. On Feb. 14, Torrez was sentenced to one year with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Frank Nelson, 7543 Tricia Court, New Orleans, 60, pled guilty to Bank Fraud. Sentencing was deferred pending a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Michael Duplessis, 43017 Weber City Road, Gonzales, 34, pled guilty to Simple Burglary and was sentenced to 10 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

Jerome Bougere, 133 Palm St., Donaldsonville, 39, pled guilty to Simple Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault and Domestic Abuse. The defendant was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. He is to serve three years of the imposed sentence, and the remaining two years are to be suspended. Upon release, the defendant is to be placed on two years supervised probation.

The above cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Bush and Phil Maples. Presiding over these matters was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert.

Takeisha Scott, 42421 La., 30 Gonzales, 28, pled guilty to Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling and Simple Battery. On the charge of Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, the defendant was sentenced to two years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on one year supervised probation. On the charge of Simple Battery, the defendant was sentenced to six months supervised probation. The imposed sentences are to run concurrent with one another.

Aquindice Garrison, 408 St. Patrick St., Donaldsonville, 26, pled guilty to Second Degree Battery and was sentenced to four years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on two years supervised probation.

Jesse Collins, 411 Blue Bird St., Gonzales, 41, pled guilty to Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on five years supervised probation.

Bret Millet, 14490 Lake Crossing Drive, Gonzales, age 52, pled guilty to Simple Burglary, Theft of Goods Valued at $1500 or More, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. On the charge of Simple Burglary, the defendant was sentenced to six years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. On the charge of Theft of Goods Valued at $1500 or more, the defendant was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. On the charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, the defendant was sentenced to six months in the parish jail with credit for time served. All of the imposed sentences are to run concurrent with one another.

John Porteous, 14446 Lake Crossing Drive Gonzales, 40, pled guilty to Simple Arson and was sentenced to five years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served, to be suspended, and placed on two years supervised probation.

The above cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Joni Buquoi and Amy Colby. Presiding over these matters was the Honorable Judge Jason Verdigets.