13-year-old boy pleads not guilty to killing sister, and other New Orleans-area police news

Joseph S. Andrews
Joseph S. Andrews

Boy, 13, pleads not guilty in girl’s death

A 13-year-old boy, accused of bludgeoning his little sister to death while practicing wrestling moves on her in June, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a second-degree murder charge.

Devalon Armstrong was scheduled to stand trial later this month.

The boy is accused of killing his 5-year-old sister, Viloude Lewis, on the afternoon of June 16, while their mother, Alourdes Desvallons, was away at the store.

A detective testified at a hearing last month that Armstrong, who initially denied hurting his sister, later confessed that he was practicing wrestling moves that he’d seen on television. He allegedly admitted that he slammed the child onto a bed and onto the floor. Then he allegedly beat her and jumped on her until her ribs were broken and her kidneys and liver lacerated. She died from blunt force trauma and severe internal bleeding. The coroner said she died in agonizing pain.

The detective testified that the boy smiled as he recalled his exploits, and showed no signs of remorse. His defense attorney questioned his mental abilities, but a panel of court-appointed doctors found him competent to proceed to trial in Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court.

On Thursday, he denied the charges, the juvenile court equivalent of pleading not guilty. He was scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 28.

The boy was called Devalon Armstrong by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Court dockets refer to him by his mother’s last name, Desvallons.

Metairie woman, 85, hit crossing street

An 85-year-old woman was in critical condition at a New Orleans hospital on Thursday after a hit-and-run accident in Metairie, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

About 2:14 p.m. the woman, whose name was not provided, was hit while she was trying to walk across Transcontinental Drive at Rye Street when a silver four-door car hit her, said Col. John Fortunato, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The car was headed west on Rye Street before it turned south onto Transcontinental Drive. Witnesses told investigators the car continued to head south after it hit the woman.

The woman was rushed to Interim LSU Hospital, where she was in critical condition, Fortunato said.

Anyone with information on the car is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Man surrenders to police after standoff

A standoff between a suicidal man and Kenner police ended peacefully late Wednesday when the man surrendered to SWAT officers.

About 9:30 p.m. a man who lives in the 800 block of Joe Yenni Boulevard called a crisis hotline and said he was suicidal, armed and would shoot any officer who entered his apartment, said Sgt. Brian McGregor, a Kenner Police Department spokesman.

The standoff ended about 11:30 p.m. when the man surrendered to police.

The man, whose name and age were not provided, was brought to a local hospital.

Man on skateboard holds up boy, 14

A man on a skateboard robbed a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon in the 7th Ward, police said.

The victim was approached about 1:20 p.m. in the 2600 block of A.P. Tureaud Avenue by the robber.

The robber rummaged through the victim’s pockets, took his cash and scooted away, police said.

Police did not provide a description of the robber.

Suspect accused of stalking woman

A Meraux man has been arrested, accused of stalking a Violet women after he met her once, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Christopher Cheairs, 49, was booked July 27 with stalking, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

According to the sheriff, Cheairs met the victim once in late May at her place of employment then began to send her text messages. He also followed her at least once.

Cheairs was released on bond on Aug. 1, Pohlmann said.

Metairie robbery suspect sought

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man wanted for an armed robbery earlier this year.

Investigators allege Joseph S. Andrews, 17, of Metairie, robbed two women at gunpoint on Feb. 26 in the 4400 block of Hearst Street at the Sun Suites Hotel.

Last month, another suspect in the robbery identified Andrews as his accomplice, said Glen Boyd, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Andrew is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.

He has previous arrests for criminal damage, simple battery, disturbing the peace, resisting an officer, theft, battery on a correctional officer and possession of hydrocodone, Boyd said.

Anyone with information about Andrews’ location is asked to contact Sgt. Cedric Gray at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Arrests made in dozens of burglaries

New Orleans police said they solved dozens of burglaries and vehicle thefts reported across south Louisiana with the arrests early last month of a Gert Town man.

Sherod Champ was arrested July 8 after officers pulled him over in front of his home in the 7000 block of Colapissa Street for driving a car with a fake brake tag and altered license plate, said Officer Garry Flot, a New Orleans Police Department spokesman.

Police learned the car he drove was stolen May 14. They found several other stolen vehicles on his property and nearby that were reported stolen from St. Tammany Parish.

A search of Champ’s home and several storage units he rented revealed property that was reported stolen from storage units in Hammond and Kenner, Flot said.

Officers who investigated the case later served a search warrant at a home in the 7800 block of Forshey Street and arrested Dominique Arch, 20, after they found more stolen property in his home, Flot said.

Champ was booked in Orleans Parish with 60 counts of simple burglary, two counts of vehicle burglary, one count of auto theft and two counts of attempted auto theft.

Arch was booked with possession of stolen property.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Nicholas Luther, 28, for possession of stolen property in connection with the case. He remained at-large on Thursday, Flot said.

The NOPD worked with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Hammond Police Department, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in connection with the stolen vehicles and storage-unit burglaries.

Compiled by

the New Orleans bureau