Gunshot wound to head kills 16-year-old boy, and other New Orleans-area police news

Gunshot wound to head kills 16-year-old youth

A 16-year-old boy who was killed late Wednesday night at a Lower 9th Ward recording studio was the victim of a homicide, authorities said Thursday morning.

Lernard Hurst died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish coroner’s office.

Police said Hurst and several other people were recording music at about 9:30 p.m. at a studio in the 6000 block of Dauphine Street when he was shot by someone inside the building. Hurst died on the scene. Police have not released any information about a possible suspect or motive.

Estranged wife arrested in LaPlace killing

St. John Parish authorities arrested a Metairie woman in connection with the July slaying of her estranged husband.

Toya Madison Toussaint, 33, was booked with being a principal to second-degree murder and obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence, Sheriff Mike Tregre said in a news release. Details of her alleged involvement were not immediately available.

Deputies previously had arrested Noron Spain, 17, Jaleel Riley, 18 ,and a 16-year-old juvenile in connection with the death of Jonathan Toussaint.

Jonathan Toussaint, 33, was found shot to death about 1:30 a.m. on July 10 inside his home in the 1500 block of Ellerslie Avenue.

Riley was booked with first-degree murder and simple burglary of an immovable structure. Spain was booked with accessory after the fact to murder and simple burglary of an immovable structure. The juvenile was booked with first-degree murder.

Toya Toussaint remained jailed Thursday on a $550,000 bond, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives do not expect to make any more arrests in the case.

St. Tammany authorities search for burglars

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives are searching for three men who forced their way into a house near Covington on Thursday in a vain search for money and then pistol-whipped the residents before fleeing.

According to the residents, three armed men forced their way into the home on Eden Street in the Abita Nursery subdivision, and began looking for money they believed had been left there by the residents’ son, who is in jail, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

When no money was found and the men learned the son did not live there before his arrest, they beat the couple before fleeing in an older-model, dark-colored sport utility vehicle.

The homeowners were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 or toll-free at (877) 903-7867.

Gentilly collision kills 42-year-old man

A 42-year-old man was killed late Wednesday when a sport-utility vehicle slammed into his car at an intersection in Gentilly.

David Perryman was headed west on Prentiss Street in his Nissan Sentra when a Nissan Rouge, driven by Tiaj Cotton, ran a red light at Elysian Fields Avenue and hit Perryman’s vehicle about 9:30 p.m., authorities said.

After the collision, Cotton’s SUV spun out of control, hit a home at the intesection and then crashed into a pole, said Officer Frank Robertson, a Police Department spokesman.

Perryman died on the scene from internal injuries, said John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator.

Cotton, 22, was treated at the hospital. He was later booked with vehicular homicide and reckless operation of a vehicle, according to Orleans Parish Criminal Court records.

Toxicology test results are pending for both drivers.

Shooting Wednesday in Desire wounds two men

Two men were shot Wednesday night in the Desire neighborhood, police said.

The victims — ages 29 and 20 — were standing in the 3000 block of Morrice Duncan Drive when two men fired at them about 8:38 p.m., police said. The gunmen ran away after the shooting.

The 20-year-old was hit in the upper left thigh; the 20-year-old was struck in his lower right leg. Neither injury was serious, police said.

Police did not identify any suspects or a motive.

Two Bridge City killers sentenced to life

A woman and a man convicted in a two-year-old murder in Bridge City were sentenced Thursday to mandatory terms of life in prison.

Chasity Griffin and Quentin McClure were convicted last month of second-degree murder in the death of Ted Pierce, who was shot in 2011. Griffin, 35, and Pierce, 24, also received 30 years in prison for conspiring to obstruct justice in connection with the murder of Charles Smith later that year.

Smith was a witness to Pierce’s killing. McClure’s half-brother, Jeffery Nelson, was given life in prison earlier this month for murdering Smith.

Griffin and McClure have appealed to reduce their sentences.

Suspected bank robber arrested in CBD

A Bay St. Louis, Miss., man suspected of robbing two New Orleans banks was arrested Thursday when he tried to rob a branch he had allegedly already struck a few days earlier.

The FBI said Dwayne Eugene Hupp, 50, walked into the Crescent Bank & Trust branch in the Energy Center at Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue about 9:15 a.m. A security supervisor at the Central Business District office tower watched Hupp walk in and then saw a teller indicate that he was trying to rob the bank, said Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s New Orleans office.

Hupp left the bank and was detained by the security supervisor and another employee.

Hupp allegedly confessed to police that he had robbed the same bank on Sept. 4 and also robbed the Gentilly Boulevard branch of Liberty Bank and Trust on Aug. 6 and Sept. 10.

Hupp was booked into the federal tier of the St. Bernard Parish Prison. He is scheduled to make his first appearance before a federal magistrate judge Friday morning.

NOPD officers prepare for sergeants exam

About 130 New Orleans police officers hoping to become sergeants attended recent exam preparation classes put on by the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The test, used to create a list of officers in line for promotion, was last given six years ago. In late June the City Council approved a measure that dictated how the test will be paid for, which had been a sticking point in recent months.

A written, multiple-choice test will be administered in late October. Candidates who pass that portion of the test will then take a job-simulation exam, which tests practical skills, in November.