A Catahoula Parish grand jury has indicted two 17-year–olds for attempted second degree murder. Trey Seward and Connor Thomas are accused of setting fire to 36-year-old Kevin Wiley’s mobile home on Pecan Street in Jonesville. The prosecution claims the teens set the fire knowing Wiley was inside. The incident happened around 4:00 a.m. on February 7. State Fire Marshall Deputy Chief Brant Thompson said Seward and Thomas first met Wiley hours earlier at a convenience store in Jonesville, where they struck up a conversation. Thompson said the two teens spent three hours at Wiley’s residence before he went to sleep on a couch in the living room. The suspects admitted to having ignited a fleece jacket and tossing it in a chair in the living room where the victim was sleeping. The State Fire Marshal arrested the two hours after the arson. A trial date has not been set.
Governor Bobby Jindal has said he wants to withdraw Louisiana from a consortium of states developing the assessment associated with the Common Core academic standards if the Louisiana Legislature doesn't choose to do so on its own. Eight state House members sent a letter to Jindal Monday afternoon asking him to nix a years-old agreement that has Louisiana helping craft the Partnership of Readiness for College and Careers test. The governor, who once supported Common Core and the Partnership test, said he is in favor of the state's withdrawal from the group developing the assessment at this point. Jindal also indicated that he hopes the anti-Common Core efforts currently brewing in the Legislature succeed. Jindal said that he and the House members share the concerns of parents across Louisiana.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's deputies making a routine stop arrested a man wanted in Winn Parish and in Texas, according to a news release. Deputies were patrolling on LA Highway 9 near Campti when they saw 41-year-old James David Sanders walking along the road with two bags around 10:00 p.m. Monday. The deputies stopped to help the man and, while talking to him, did a National Crime Information Center Criminal History background check on him. The check revealed that Sanders was wanted in Winn Parish, for failure to appear for child support, and in Winkler County, Texas, for possession of meth, according to the release. A search of Sanders found several used syringes. Sanders was arrested and was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, where he is awaiting extradition to Texas.
A Winnfield man was arrested after a passerby called 911 Thursday morning about a fight between a man and a woman on the side of LA Highway 1 near Natchitoches. The 911 caller said that there was a fight, that the woman was standing near the edge of some woods and that the man, 27-year-old Roger Jermaine Thomas, of Winnfield, had driven away. The caller was able to provide a description of both, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office release. Additional 911 calls indicated that Thomas allegedly was hiding the vehicle at a business and was walking back to the spot where the woman was located. When deputies arrived, both Thomas and the woman were sitting near the woods. Deputies saw the woman's bruises and a laceration, and arrested Thomas, As he was being searched, deputies found suspected hydrocodone, along with soma pills. Thomas was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and was charged with domestic abuse battery, illegal possession of hydrocone and illegal possession of soma. The victim declined medical attention.
Louisiana needs to do better when it comes to inspecting and fixing structurally deficient bridges, according to a Louisiana Legislative Auditor's report. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said that Louisiana is the 13th highest in population of structurally deficient bridges. The report says Louisiana needs to improve its bridge inspections, which are only 39 percent compliant with federal performance measures. It also recommends the state increase the frequency and timeliness of inspections along with keeping better track of its records. According to the state auditor's report, approximately 2,000 of the almost 13,000 bridges across the state are structurally deficient. Purpera also said that there's a backlog of about $2.7 billion in maintenance and construction, mainly because of the lack of funds.
Winn Parish Sheriff's Department Arrest Report:
On Saturday, March 29, the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Roy Robertson, of Montgomery. Robertson was charged with aggravated incest. Also arrested was Bobby Martin, of Calvin, for driving under suspension and reckless operation. Michel Edmonds, of Dodson, was arrested on the 29th on a warrant for simple battery. On Sunday, March 30, Justin Michael Boyette, of Dodson, was arrested for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, and criminal damage to property. On Tuesday, April 1, Donnie Wayne Folden and Wesley McCracken, both of Winnfield, were arrested for introduction of contraband into a penal institution. On Wednesday, April 2, Brandon Bradley, of Clarence, was arrested for failure to appear on charges of speeding and driving under suspension. On Saturday, April 5, Nathaniel Beverly, of Lafayette, was arrested and is being held for Texas authorities.
The City of Winnfield will hold a Public Safety Committee meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the Winnfield City Hall. The committee will address Fire Department personnel. The Finance Committee will meet at 4:15 p.m. to discuss the Winnfield city budget.
The Winn Parish Sheriff's Department will hold a firearm familiarization class for women on Saturday, May 3, at the Sheriff's Department Shooting Range on the Old Alexandria Highway. The class will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and lunch will be provided. The first part of the course will be in the classroom, and the second part will be on the firing range. According to Sheriff Cranford Jordan, this will not be a concealed weapons class. Those interested may contact the Sheriff's Department at 628-4611 to register. Persons may use their own firearms and ammunition, or use weapons provided by the Sheriff's Department.
The Soggy Bottom Riding Club will host a St. Jude's Ride Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. at Gum Springs in Winnfield. The cost is $10.00 per rider or $20.00 per family, with lunch included. There will also be an auction following lunch. All proceeds will go to St. Judes. For more information, call 318-332-2963, 318-249-2476, 318-277-3100, or 318-794-6128.The next meeting of the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board will be on Tuesday, May 13, at 9:00 a.m., at the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement Office, at 602 North Fifth Street in Baton Rouge. The public is invited to attend this meeting, and assistance will be provided to those who need special accommodations in order to attend this meeting. For more information, persons may call 225.342.1500
The Juanita Pharr Cancer Support Group meets on the first Friday of each month at 12:00 noon for a dutch treat meeting. All cancer survivors and caretakers are invited. There is a different meeting place each month, and persons may contact Maxine Godman for more information at 628-3858.