A St. Landry Parish grand jury returned indictments in two first-degree murder cases last week, one involving a 1988 cold-case killing and the other the death of a 2-year-old boy, according to a news release issued Monday.
The grand jury charged Joenell Rubin, 42, of Opelousas, with the Dec. 19, 1988, first-degree murder of Brenda Dupont.
Opelousas police arrested Rubin in the 24-year-old rape and stabbing death of Dupont after a DNA profile allegedly linked him to the killing.
Rubin, who was 18 at the time of the killing, was already being held in the City Jail on domestic violence charges when investigators arrested him in March on counts of first-degree murder and aggravated rape, police have said.
The second case involves the death of Derion Sam, who, according to police, died from blunt force trauma in December.
Police arrested Sam’s mother, Latricia Hunt, 20, and her boyfriend, Dominique Jackson, 21, on one count each of first-degree murder in March.
The grand jury returned true bills against the couple last week, charging Jackson with first-degree murder of a juvenile under the age of 12 and Hunt with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile under the age of 17.
Police said Hunt brought the unresponsive boy into the emergency room at Opelousas General Hospital on Dec. 12. Hunt told hospital staff her son had stopped breathing two blocks from the hospital, but hospital reports indicate the child arrived with a temperature below 94 degrees, police said.
An autopsy also found evidence of fractured ribs and abdominal damage, police said.
Hunt told police she left her son with Jackson the night before while she worked. When she returned home, the boy told her his stomach hurt, but Hunt failed to bring the child to the hospital until the following morning, police have said.
Investigators also discovered there were some prior indications of possible abuse involving burns to the boy’s hands that required treatment in Baton Rouge, police have said.
If convicted, Jackson could face life in prison or the death penalty and Hunt could face a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.