Campbell found guilty in Raxx Bar murder

A  12-member jury unanimously found Ronald Dwayne Campbell guilty of second degree murder today in the shooting of Trey Allen, 21, outside the Raxx Bar in Erwinville, according to District Attorney Tony Clayton.

Clayton was lead prosecuting attorney in the trial in Eighteenth Judicial District Court in Port Allen. The jury deliberated only about an hour in returning the guilty verdict after the 3-day trial. Assistant District Attorney Lonny Guidroz prosecuted the case with Clayton.

District Judge Tonya Lurry set Campbell’s sentencing for November 21, but the second -degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence. His residence was listed as 5370 Lazard Lane in Jarreau, and he is 18 years old. Campbell was 17 at the time of the shooting, but he was transferred to adult court due to the severity of the crime.

This was the second time Campbell was tried on this charge. Judge Lurry declared a mistrial in the first trial in August because the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, which is now required by state law.

Officials said Allen was trying to break up a fight outside the bar at about 1:30 am on September 18, 2021, when the shooting occurred. Raxx’s liquor license was revoked after the shooting for allegedly selling liquor to minors.

“This is another case in which gun violence ended a life and cost a young person his life, and has sadly impacted many families,” said DA Clayton. “We will not tolerate it. We will prosecute these cases with the full extent of the law. I am telling the young people – put the guns down. You will be arrested, you will be prosecuted fully, and you will go to jail.”

DA’s Office gets convictions in trial of St. Gabriel killings

Jaylon Brown was convicted of one count of second-degree murder in the killing of Dararius Evans and one count of manslaughter in the killing of Aleysia Maynor after a four-day jury trial in 18th Judicial District Court in Iberville Parish.

District Judge Elizabeth Engolio, presided over the trial, which began on October 3. The jury deliberated for a little over 5 hours on Thursday, October 6, before returning the guilty verdicts. Brown, 24, of 8276 Keel Avenue, Baton Rouge, was remanded back to jail to await sentencing. Second degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence and the sentence for manslaughter is up to 40 years in prison at hard labor. Sentencing is set for November 30.

The double homicide occurred on December 28, 2019, on LSU Ag. Road in St. Gabriel. The three had planned to meet there. They then drove to Gonzales and back, and Brown shot Evans and Maynor in the car at the scene. Evans called 911 after he was shot. He was hospitalized and died the next day. Maynor died at the scene.

Brown told investigators several different stories, and ended up saying it was self-defense, but the evidence did not match his story. Brown led detectives to a storm drain in Baton Rouge,  where he told them he threw the gun after the shootings.  

Assistant District Attorneys Chad Aguillard, Timmy Collins, and Ali Meronek prosecuted the case for the DA’s Office. “We will not tolerate these crimes and violence in the 18th District,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton. “I thank the jury for its attention and service in this case. We will go after the criminals and we will work hard to present the evidence to put them away.”

DA Tony Clayton gets conviction of former police officer on horrible child porn, sexual abuse of animals acts

District Attorney Tony Clayton reported that a 12-member jury found Shaderick Jones guilty of of 24 counts of pornography involving juveniles and 55 counts of sexual abuse of animals in a trial in 18th Judicial District Court in Port Allen.

The trial, before District Judge Tonya Lurry, lasted four days and ended with the verdict on Friday, September 23. Sentencing was set by Judge Lurry on December 7 for Jones, 45, of 435 Gladilus Street, Port Allen.

The case was opened after a video on facebook messenger was reported to police. A search warrant was obtained and numerous images of pornography involving juveniles were found on Jones mobile devices. The case involved other evidence also found of the sexual abuse of animals.

The case was tried by Assistant DAs Lonnie Guidroz and Kristen Canezaro. “I want to thank the jury, which had to listen to and decide on a sickening case,” said DA Clayton. “I am seeking the maximum sentence for Jones – over 500 years in prison. I think he should die in prison for the horrible acts committed.”

Larry West guilty of 2nd degree murder, attempted 2nd degree murder

An Iberville Parish jury found Larry West guilty of the murder of one man and attempted murder of another man after a 4-day trial Sept. 13-16. The crimes occurred after the Maringouin Mardi Gras Parade on Feb. 10, 2018.

West, 41, of 7603 Oakmount Dr., Baton Rouge, was found guilty of all three counts against him – second degree murder, attempted second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Sentencing is set for November 3 by Judge Alvin Batiste, who presided over the trial. However, second degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison without benefit of probation or parole. The attempted second-degree murder conviction carries up to 50 years in prison, while the conviction on possession of the firearm carries an up to 20 year prison term.

District Attorney’s Office Chief of Trials Chad Aguillard prosecuted the case. West was in a Dodge Ram truck driven by Danny Smith when they first drove past a group of young men on Mayer Street. They came back down the street a short time later, stopped the car by the group, and West got out with a gun under his arm. He addressed Christopher Carter, Carter turned around and West shot him in the back of the head.

West also shot Torray Collins, who was hit in the leg. West then got back into the truck and he and Smith fled. Carter, who was 26 years old and a resident of Maringouin, died at the scene. Collins survived and testified against West in the trial. Another witness who saw the shootings also testified against West in the trial.

Danny Smith, who is charged as a principal to second degree murder and attempted second degree murder, also testified in the trial that West was with him at the scene, was armed and that he heard gunshots. The next court date for Smith, 61, of 77525 Pecan St., Maringouin, is November 7.

West had been convicted of possession of cocaine in 2015, so he was not allowed to be in possession of a firearm.

“There was great interest in this case by residents of Maringouin, especially the family and friends of Mr. Carter,” said Assistant DA Aguillard. “We are very happy that the jury got it right, and his family and friends can at least now have closure.”

“This case drug on because Mr. West kept changing lawyers, but we were determined to provide justice for this family,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton. “We will do what it takes to prosecute violent offenders and get them off the streets of our communities.”

Dionte Bracken convicted of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder

A 12-member jury in Iberville Parish deliberated for over three hours late into the night of May 12 and unanimously found Dionte Bracken (DOB 09/12/2000, of 57345 Cpl. Herman Brown, White Castle) guilty of one count of second degree murder and one count of attempted second degree murder.

According to District Attorney Tony Clayton, the victims, Jaion Knight and Deandre Brown, were sitting in Brown’s car when Bracken emerged from the darkness on August 20, 2020, opened the car door and started shooting, leaving very little opportunity for the victims to defend themselves. Knight was killed and Brown in injured in the shooting. Bracken was arrested the next day for the shootings.

Clayton commended the hard work of the jury in the three-day trial, saying, “They understood the case presented, and handed down justice for the families and the Bayou Goula community.”  

He also praised the investigative work on the case. “I commend the work of the Iberville, Ascension, and Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Offices, along with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. They did a great job working this case and finding all the evidence across all these parishes,” stated Clayton. 

Chad Aguillard, who is Clayton’s Chief of Trials, prosecuted this case along with Assistant District Attorneys Niki Roberts and Brilliant Clayton.  Honorable Judge Alvin Batiste, Jr. presided over the case and set sentencing for Bracken on July 7, 2022.

Second degree murder carries a mandatory life in prison sentence, while attempted second degree murder carries up to 50 years in prison. 

In closing, Clayton stated, “This senseless gun violence needs to stop and will not be tolerated in the 18th Judicial District. Put the guns down and work out your differences.”

Two men convicted of murder, feticide by Pointe Coupee jury

An 18th Judicial District Court jury in Pointe Coupee returned guilty verdicts on April 8  in the trial of two men for a deadly Valentine’s Day shooting in 2019 that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Treveon Robinson, 22, of 2022 Lobdell Hwy., Port Allen, was found guilty of second degree murder, first degree feticide, attempted second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Andre Griffin, 24, also of Port Allen, was found guilty of second degree murder, first degree feticide, and attempted second degree murder. Both men face life in prison.

Aerial Edwards, 25, of Glynn, and her unborn child, were killed in the murders. “It’s sad that this little boy never had an opportunity to live life and be a part of the Edwards family, but by serving justice on the people that killed that little baby boy and his mama, we’re able to provide some sort of closure to that family,” said Assistant District Attorney Chad Aguillard. “I pray that they can now move on and put this chapter of their lives behind them.”

The trial lasted two weeks, and the jury deliberated two hours before returning the guilty verdicts. District Judge Kevin Kimball presided over the trial.

“These young folks who have chosen a life of violence appear not to have gotten our message,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton. “If you choose to take the life of another unjustifiably you will forfeit your right to live freely. Put the guns down or you will die in Angola. We take no joy in prosecuting you, but you leave us no choice. Put the guns down.”

Edwards was killed in the drive-by shooting into a house she shared with her boyfriend, Kendel Mingo, on Russell Lane in Glynn on Feb. 14, 2019. She was asleep in bed at the time. In testimony during the trail, the DA’s office established that the shots fired into the house were intended to kill Mingo. After the shooting Mingo called the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office and rushed Edwards to the hospital, but she died before arriving.

The DA’s office presented evidence that the shots that hit Edwards also killed the unborn child. “We presented real-life evidence of the death of an innocent, unborn baby that emanated from the senseless, stupid violence of Andre Griffin and Treveon Robinson,” Aguillard said.

“It was extremely emotional to see that happen in a live trial for the jurors, who were conducting their civic duty.”

 “District Attorney Tony Clayton has taken a position that when a case involves serious gun violence we will not standby and work out deals. Our objective is to present these cases to the juries of our three parishes to get justice for the victims,” added Aguillard.

WBR jury convicts Braggs of second degree murder

Darrell Braggs, a member of the Young & Reckless gang out of Pointe Coupee Parish, was convicted of second degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property by a West Baton Rouge Parish jury on Jan. 31, reported District Attorney Tony Clayton.

In this unusual case, Braggs, 28, of 407 Berthier St., New  Roads, was charged with killing a member of his own gang, Jalael Leonard, while more than 30 shots were being fired after they got spooked during a car burglary off Section Road in West Baton Rouge Parish in 2021.

The trial was delayed several days as the defense tried to stop the testimony of an expert witness, a La. State Police gang expert, regarding the previous violent history and murders of the gang. After quick appeals, the La. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the DA’s Office in allowing the testimony.

The case was presented over 3 days, with closing arguments on Jan. 31. The jury deliberated for one and a half hours before handing down guilty verdicts. Sentencing was set for March 14, but the mandatory sentence for a second degree murder conviction is life in prison.

The case was presented by Assistant District Attorneys Chad Aguillard and Lonnie Guidroz. Judge Tonya Lurry presided over the trial. DA Clayton noted that one member of the Young & Reckless gang had previously been convicted of murder, and two more were involved in this case – the shooter and the victim. “We will continue to prosecute the members of this gang until the gang is eradicated,” he said.

“I want to thank local law enforcement for their excellent work on the investigation, our staff and prosecutors, and the citizens who served on the jury,” said DA Clayton. “This verdict shows the people of the 18th District (West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and Iberville Parishes) are not going to put up with gun violence and gangs. They will convict and the criminals will die in prison. My message is this: PUT THE GUNS DOWN or face the consequences.”

DA Tony Clayton reports convictions on ALL major jury trials in 2021

District Attorney Tony Clayton issued his 2021 case report for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, noting that the DA’s Office had a 100 percent conviction rate on a whopping 11 major criminal jury trials during 2021, despite facing numerous obstacles throughout the year.

“It was really challenging because this was the first year that unanimous jury verdicts were required,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton. “That meant all 12 jurors in every case had to vote to convict.”

“In addition, we tried a lot of cases in an abbreviated time of seven months because the Louisiana Supreme Court had prohibited trials during the first four months of the year due to COVID.” DA Clayton noted that trial preparation is time and resource consuming, and prosecuting 11 jury trials in a seven month period, along with its normal case workload, really stretched the DA’s office.

“I give the credit to my staff and assistant district attorneys who tried these cases,” Clayton said. “They did an excellent job of researching and presenting these cases to the juries.”

“I also thank the citizens who served on these jury trials,” he said. “Not a lot of people like serving on juries, but we had very attentive and intelligent jurors for all our trials. They listened to the evidence, and in every case, the juries issued unanimous guilty verdicts.”

I made the commitment to the citizens of the 18th District (Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee Parishes) that I would prosecute those who committed crimes, and I think this shows we are very serious about that,” DA Clayton said.

Some heinous crimes were among the 11 jury verdicts, including a number of murder cases, rape, sexual battery, armed robbery, and aggravated kidnapping of a child. A juvenile was convicted of second-degree murder and will serve juvenile life in jail.

“As I have said before, I will prosecute juvenile crime. Juveniles today have access to guns and use them, thinking that they will get away with it because they know we don’t have juvenile facilities,” DA Clayton said. “But that’s not going to happen under my watch. We will prosecute them for their crimes. However, I am a firm believer that they should be required to further their education and job skills while serving their juvenile terms. Just locking them up is not the answer, because when they get out they will continue to be a problem for our communities. We must educate them while they are paying for their crimes.”

“We are working to address the juvenile detention facility problem, but that will not deter me from prosecuting juveniles,” Clayton said. In addition, Clayton has brought on a new prosecutor, Niki Roberts, an experienced prosecutor from New Orleans, as Iberville’s Chief of Trials. Roberts has 20 years of jury trial and prosecution experience.

Following is a list of the 11 jury trials and convictions:

IBERVILLE PARISH:
Jamarkus Collins – armed robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Robert Marks – second degree murder, second degree kidnapping, feticide, aggravated kidnapping of a child, carjacking, obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence and four counts of illegal possession of a weapon with a crime of violence.
Quinton Lawrence – 2 counts of attempted second degree murder, 3 counts aggravated assault on a peace officer, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Sean Wilkinson – 11 counts of rape, and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH:
Arthur Breaux – principal to home invasion and principal to second degree robbery.
Kevin Hamburg – attempted second degree murder, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Greg Dupuy – 20 counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and sexual battery.
Juvenile – second degree murder.

POINTE COUPEE PARISH:
Javon Batiste – manslaughter, 2 counts of illegal possession of a stolen firearm, and obstruction of justice.
Jaquan Battley – second degree murder.
Steve Witty – two counts of attempted first degree murder of a police officer.

QUINTON LAWRENCE GETS MULTIPLE SENTENCES

Quinton Lawrence was sentenced on December 15, 2021, to multiple convictions after a jury trial in October. The sentence by 18th Judicial District Court Judge Elizabeth Engolio includes 35 years in prison on each of two attempted second degree murder convictions, 5 years each on three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a firearm, and 20 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

District Attorney Tony Clayton said the sentence was handed down as a result of the October 8, 2021, jury conviction of Lawrence (DOB 01/28/1962) of 58634 W.W. Harleaux, Plaquemine.

According to Clayton, the incident stemmed from a dispute with neighbors in December 2015. Lawrence went to their residence and threatened them. He ultimately fired shots striking one of the neighbors.

Lawrence then went to his home across the street and when officers approached the door, he aimed his gun at the officers and refused commands to put the weapon down, causing one of the officers to fire his duty weapon, hitting Lawrence.  State Police were called to investigate the case. Lawrence had previously been convicted of aggravated battery with a different victim in June of 2012.

“I commend the work of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, Plaquemine Police Department, and Louisiana State Police detectives and crime scene investigators.  They did a great job in working this case, which went hand in hand with the prosecution of Quinton Lawrence,” said Clayton.

District Attorney Clayton stated, “I hope this prosecution and sentence sends a message that gun violence in the 18th Judicial District will not be tolerated.”

JUVENILE CONVICTED OF 2ND DEGREE MURDER

District Attorney Tony Clayton reports that a juvenile defendant was found guilty of 2nd degree murder on December 1, in 18th Judicial District Court in West Baton Rouge Parish. Judge Tonya Lurry issued the guilty verdict. The incident stemmed from a shooting that occurred in Port Allen, in which the juvenile defendant opened fired in an apartment complex targeting a 16-year-old victim.

Assistant District Attorneys Lonny Guidroz, Ashley Woods, and Larry Bossier successfully prosecuted the case, resulting in the juvenile defendant being sentenced to juvenile life, and immediately remanded into the custody of the Louisiana State Office of Juvenile Justice.

“It’s a sad day when a 14-year-old kid has to serve juvenile life in prison, and equally sad that a juvenile took the life of another child,” said District Attorney Clayton. “We will fully prosecute crimes to the fullest extent of the law, no matter the age of the perpetrator. This is my message to young folks: Put the guns down. It is a no way out situation and you will spend a substantial part of your life in prison if you commit crimes.”