Mouton pleads not guilty in rash of home invasions

Vorris Mouton, the New Iberia man accused in five recent home invasions in Baton Rouge, pleaded not guilty Thursday to the 12 counts he’s facing in those crimes.

Mouton was originally accused in two home invasions, but police steadily added counts as they gathered more evidence, particularly DNA, potentially linking him to the crimes. The spree of home invasions, between Dec. 22 and Jan. 17, targeted elderly women.

He faces four counts of aggravated burglary, three counts of sexual battery, two counts of simple kidnapping, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and aggravated battery, a felony.

Mouton also is accused of the unauthorized entry of a Whitney Bank branch in Baton Rouge on Nov. 8, which authorities had not previously disclosed.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the bank incident involved Mouton walking into a women’s bathroom.

Mouton has been assigned a public defender and is in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in lieu of $350,000 bail. Moore said prosecutors will likely seek to increase that bail at a future court hearing.

A parole hold will keep Mouton in jail indefinitely, regardless of the bail amount.

“The police worked this case very hard, and the crime lab really came through,” said Moore.

Mouton entered the plea in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge before state Judge Bonnie Jackson.

Mouton, who was paroled in June, has been in and out of prison the past 17 years.

He has convictions for battery of a police officer, illegal possession of burglary tools and criminal trespassing and, most recently, was sentenced to six years of hard labor in 2011 for burglary of an inhabited dwelling.