Smoke prompts evacuation of Shenandoah Elementary

A smoldering ceiling tile forced a temporary evacuation of Shenandoah Elementary School Wednesday morning after reports of smoke, the St. George Fire Department announced. Multiple units deployed to the school at 9:13 a.m., finding the tile in a classroom of Building B. “The school had been evacuated by staff, and all children were accounted for at … Continue reading →

Police: Three shot on Avis Avenue expected to survive

Advocate staff photo by RYAN BROUSSARD -- Baton Rouge police department crime scene technicians preserve the scene of a shooting late Tuesday on Avis Avenue.

All three people shot Tuesday night on Avis Avenue are expected to survive, but Baton Rouge police do not have a motive or suspect yet in the shooting. Initially police said one of the three shooting victims was listed in serious condition, but Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, said Wednesday morning that victim survived the night … Continue reading →

Erwinville man dies in West Baton Rouge Parish crash

Louisiana State Police logo

An Erwinville man died early Wednesday after his eastbound 1998 Chevrolet Lumina left La. 620, struck a culvert and overturned, State Police said. Not wearing a seat belt, Rurid L. James, 56, was ejected from his car, suffering fatal injuries, Trooper First Class Jared Sandifer said. The accident occurred shortly before 4 a.m. on La. 620, … Continue reading →

Altercation between step-brothers turns deadly

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office

An altercation between two step-brothers turned deadly with one shooting the other Tuesday night, the East Baton Rouge Sherrif’s Department announced. Jeremy Gray, 52, died at the scene, 252 Dotson Avenue in north Baton Rouge, sheriff’s office spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks said in a press release Wednesday morning. Deputies responded to the call at 9:25 p.m. … Continue reading →

Tangipahoa man fatally shot by deputies

Advocate staff photo by HEIDI KINCHEN -- A shooting occured at 42262 Deborah Drive, off HappyWoods southwest of Hammond

A deputy shot and killed a man Tuesday near Hammond in what started as a report of a domestic disturbance, authorities said. Michael C. Nichols Jr., 48, was found holding a knife and standing over his injured 70-year-old mother, Barbara J. Nichols, inside a home in the 42200 … Continue reading →

One person dies in crash in Ascension Parish

A Napoleonville man was killed Tuesday morning in Ascension Parish when his car crashed head-on with a dump truck on La. 70, State Police said. Shelby G. Johnson, 36, of Napoleonville, drove his northbound 2006 Ford Mustang into the southbound lane of La. 70 for unknown reasons shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday … Continue reading →

Authorities search for man in human trafficking case

Emmanuel Bailey

An alleged pimp accused of trafficking at least two women, and possibly several others, to Baton Rouge from out of state for prostitution has gone underground after a woman revealed his operation to authorities during a recent prostitution sting. Sgt. Nick Manale, a State Police spokesman, said Tuesday that law enforcement agencies are scouring the area for … Continue reading →

Girard Park death ruled as accidental drowning

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Balloons and stuffed animals hang from a section of fence near the drainage ditch where Alexandria Shelton's body was discovered in Girard Park, on Monday morning. Shelton was a student at Grambling State University and was due to graduate next month.

An autopsy revealed Monday that 21-year-old aspiring lawyer Alexandria Shelton accidentally drowned in the Girard Park drainage ditch where police found her body early Sunday morning. Lafayette police Sgt. Randal Leger said the circumstances that led to Shelton’s drowning are unclear since the young woman was alone in the park. “The coroner … Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Patterson man is in critical condition following a single-vehicle crash early Monday morning and faces arrest for third-offense DWI and vehicular homicide because his passenger died, State Trooper Stephen Hammons said. Autoro Garcia, 32, of Patterson, was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer west on La. 182 after 3:30 a.m. … Continue reading →

BR man dies in single-vehicle accident Sunday on Milldale Road

A 27-year-old man died Sunday night after his pickup truck ran off Milldale Road in East Baton Rouge Parish, hit a tree and flipped over, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said. Justin Bradley Bourg, 21327 Jon Michelli Drive, Baton Rouge, was pronounced dead at the scene after the accident, spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said. The fatal crash … Continue reading →

Police: Man carjacked ex-girlfriend in empty school bus

A Baton Rouge man armed with a handgun Monday morning forced his ex-girfriend to drive her empty school bus from her residence almost six miles to his home on Billops Street, said Cpl. Don Coppola, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department. Jock Jones, 37, 4159 Billops St., released her as police were arriving, but barricaded … Continue reading →

Police seek suspect in April 9 bank robbery

Harold James Carmouche Jr.

Coroner: Grambling State student died by accidental drowning

Alexandria Shelton

Alexandria Shelton accidentally drowned in the drainage ditch where her body was found after midnight Sunday, said Lafayette Police Sgt. Randal Leger. An autopsy showed her death was an accidental drowning and there were no signs of foul play, Leger said. The 21-year-old Lafayette woman was a senior at Grambling State University … Continue reading →

Fire at home ruled to be arson

A fire at a home at 4869 Bank Street in Baton Rouge early Monday caused $15,000 in damage and was determined to be arson, fire investigators reported. Curt Monte of the Baton Rouge Fire Department said firefighters arrived on the scene at 2:01 a.m. to find a bathroom engulfed in flames. No one was at home at … Continue reading →

Baton Rouge police and fire briefs for April 14, 2014

A 30-year-old man was arrested Saturday night after Baton Rouge police found evidence of dog-fighting at his Washington Avenue home. Police booked Gillis Lee Hawthorne, 5233 Washington Ave., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of dog-fighting, prison records show. Hawthorne admitted to being … Continue reading →

SUV hits bicycle, kills rider in New Iberia

A 38-year-old New Iberia man died Saturday night after he was struck by a Jeep as he tried to cross East St. Peter Street on his bicycle, an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. Lt. Anthony Green said Tony “3rd Gear” Parker was found lying in the 500 block of East St. Peter Street at about 10:20 … Continue reading →

Woman, 21, found dead in Girard Park

Lafayette police are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch near a pond in Girard Park. Cpl. Paul Mouton, a police spokesman, said detectives, who say the death is suspicious, have not ruled out foul play in the death of the woman, … Continue reading →

CASA volunteers find rewards in advocating for children

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Krissy Dupre, foreground, and Kristina Stein, in back, apply facepaint to kids on Saturday during a picnic for CASA volunteers.

At last year’s CASA Christmas party, volunteer Leigh Hill was struck by how deeply her work as a legal advocate for children had impacted her own life, not just their’s. She had fallen in love with the four siblings she and her cousin, Laura Schulze, first met about six months prior as CASA advocates and had … Continue reading →

Lafayette police blotter for April 13, 2014

Arrests posted Apr. 12, 2014, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website: PAGE LEIGH ADDISON: 33, of the 300 block of Fuselier Street, Arnaudville. She was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule IV narcotics; disturbing the peace; for St. Martin Parish; misdemeanor possession of … Continue reading →

Sheriff: Source of synthetic marijuana not disclosed

The six men who went to the hospital Thursday night after smoking synthetic marijuana aren’t saying where they got the substance and haven’t been arrested, said Chief Tony Bacala of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. “There may not be anything to charge with this. Unless there’s a sample you can send to … Continue reading →

Arson suspected in early Friday morning fire

LAFAYETTE — Investigators suspect arson in a early morning fire that damaged a vacant home at 107 Hobson St., the Lafayette Fire Department reported. Firefighters were called to the fire at about 1 a.m. Friday and put out the blaze in about 15 mintues, the fire department reported. The fire heavily damaged the home’s exterior and is … Continue reading →

St. Martinville boy injured after scooter crashes into bus

A five-year-old St. Martinville boy is recovering from injuries sustained Thursday evening after running into the back of a school bus with his scooter, said St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Maj. Ginny Higgins. The boy was riding his scooter around 5:30 p.m. Thursday on Daniel Drive in St. Martinville and was unable … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for April 11, 2014

Barry Gilmore

A man suspected in a Tuesday bank robbery in Bayou Vista was arrested Thursday in Morgan City. Barry P. Gilmore, 53, of Patterson, was booked on one count of simple robbery after Morgan City police found him at a restaurant on La. 182 in Morgan City at around 7:30 a.m. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s … Continue reading →

Woman’s body found in Mississippi River in St. James Parish

An unidentified woman’s body was found Thursday morning in the Mississippi River at the Convent Marine Terminal, authorities said. St. James Parish sheriff’s deputies searched missing persons reports but by late Thursday afternoon had not learned her identity. Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. said deputies were called about 8 a.m. Thursday … Continue reading →

Missing boy, girl from St. Landry found safe in New Orleans

Henry Bieber, Jr.; Ariel Robin

OPELOUSAS — Two Acadiana youths, who suffer from depression and had been missing since Sunday night, were found Thursday in the New Orleans area, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The parents of Ariel Blaze Robin, 12, and Henry Bieber Jr., 15, were traveling Thursday afternoon to New Orleans to bring them back home, Capt. Megan … Continue reading →

Man sought in stabbing outside Pisces Lounge

Vyron Carter

Baton Rouge police are looking for a 46-year-old man suspected in an early morning stabbing outside the Pisces Lounge, 1645 N. Acadian W., on March 30. The suspect, Vyron Carter, has no known address and is accused of stabbing a 32-year-old man, barely missing the heart, police Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. said. The 32-year-old survived, … Continue reading →

Family of Gonzales man questions drowning account

Advocate staff photo by DAVID J. MITCHELL -- Baton Rouge attorney Peter John, left, looks down at Bayou Francois in Gonzales late Wednesday afternoon along with neighbors and the family of a man who drowned in the Ascension Parish bayou Tuesday night while fleeing Gonzales police officers. John said the man's family questions the official police account and wanted to measure the depth of the bayou to see if Jerrick Lane, 25, 8544 S. St. Landry Ave., Lot 49, could have drowned. Police officers are also conducting their own administrative investigation. An autopsy is planned for mid-Friday morning.

The family of a Gonzales man who drowned Tuesday night while fleeing police is questioning the account officers gave of the events leading to his death. Gonzales police reported Tuesday night that Jerrick Lane, 25, 8544 S. St. Landry Ave., Lot 49, drowned after he jumped into Bayou Francois while fleeing police. … Continue reading →

Teen accused in shooting had been in counseling

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- A status hearing at EBR Juvenile Court involving the 16-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting three teenagers in Baker Friday night.

The teen accused of wildly firing shots inside a crowded club in Baker, killing three, had been undergoing faith-based counseling at the behest of the parish’s anti-gang task force, according to a pastor who worked with him. The Rev. Donald Hunter Sr., pastor of New Beginning Baptist Church and founder of the Black Family … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for April 10, 2014

Photo provided by Lafayette Police Department -- These two suspects are being sought in connection for their part in a robbery of a Moss Street bank.

NEW IBERIA — Two people were killed Tuesday night in a head-on crash on La. 182 in Iberia Parish, State Police said. Creig Broussard, 53, of St. Martinville, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet truck west on La. 182 when he crossed the center line and crashed into an eastbound 2004 … Continue reading →

Ascension woman arrested on drug charge

A Prairieville woman was arrested Wednesday on a count of attempted distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. Karen Marchand, 50, 44079 Loop Road, went to a local shopping center to deliver hydrocone pain pills, an arrangement she made with undercover narcotics detectives, the Sheriff’s Office … Continue reading →

Masked men rob Lafayette bank, no one injured

Photo provided by Lafayette Police Department -- These two suspects are being sought in connection for their part in a robbery of a Moss Street bank.

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette police are searching for two men who robbed a Chase Bank branch on Moss Street Wednesday morning. The robbers entered the building at around 10:15 a.m. and ordered everyone to drop to the floor before demanding money from tellers, Cpl. Paul Mouton said in a release. The men left the building with an undisclosed amount of … Continue reading →

Auditing, compliance director charged with federal crime

The director of auditing and compliance for the state’s Department of Children and Family Services has been charged with federal program fraud, U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Wednesday. Federal authorities claim that between 2010 and last month, Delrice Jermaine Augustus used government money to buy a large number of items for himself, including but not limited to … Continue reading →