The close of one year and the start of the next provides an opportunity to look back, not only to December but the full expanse of the year just ending.

Throughout 2022, the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office did not rest on its laurels. Our attorneys and supporting staff members have been aggressively prosecuting criminals in record numbers.

With only five judges assigned to hear criminal cases in our parish’s court system (as compared to 16 criminal court judges in Jefferson Parish, 14 in Orleans Parish, and nine in East Baton Rouge Parish), there were 55 jury trials prosecuted over the course of ten months, since the surge of the Omicron variety of COVID-19 caused our First Judicial District Judges to issue a stay on trials from January 1 through March 1, 2022. This represents the greatest number of such trials held in Caddo Parish in 15 years, when 49 trials were held in 2007.

The office also secured more than 2,500 felony convictions through guilty pleadings, plea arrangements and bench trials.  We obtained 488 convictions for crimes of violence in 2022.

In Caddo Parish Juvenile Court, our office prosecuted 2,385 Juvenile Court criminal, ungovernable and truancy cases, 607 felony criminal cases, 116 violent crimes cases, 852 misdemeanor criminal cases and 252 uncategorized offenses. Additionally, we prosecuted 135 “Child In Need of Care” cases, securing the removal of children from parental custody due to abuse or neglect.  As we look forward to 2023, our office  will continue to ask law enforcement to probe the issue of parental responsibility in any case they bring to us at juvenile court.

Moreover, our office opened 1,249 child support cases to prosecute in 2022.

As these numbers attest, our Caddo Parish prosecutors have been busy administering justice for victims. Numbers like these are not possible without the efforts and hard work of my prosecutors and staff, our five District Court criminal judges and three Juvenile Court Judges, Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith, law enforcement officers, witnesses who bravely come forward, and jurors who serve our community, for making Caddo Parish the most productive court system of any large parish in Louisiana.

I also thank these prosecutors for our great honor this year of being named by the Community Foundation of Acadiana as one of its three recipients of the 2022 Leaders in Law Enforcement Awards, along with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s office, and Louisiana State Police Troop D.


December also brought about the well-anticipated report from the Louisiana-based conservative think tank, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, which analyzed years of Louisiana crime data and concluded that violent crime in Louisiana stayed flat from 2014 to 2019. Then in 2020, things drastically changed. There was a 30-percent increase in violent crime that year, which mirrored  a national phenomenon.

The report’s conclusions on Louisiana crime were:

1. Property crime is decreasing.

2. Increases in violent crime were a nationwide event since the pandemic shutdown in 2020 that has impacted almost every state. Murder rates jumped nearly 30 percent nationwide in 2020, and our state’s increase is not linked to anything specific in Louisiana. Louisiana’s increases were driven primarily by increases in murder and aggravated assault.

3. Louisiana had lower increases in violent crime than other southern states, and that also mirrors regional trends. (Louisiana’s baseline rate of violent crime is higher than many comparison states, though.)

4. Increases in violent crime are not correlated with Louisiana criminal justice reforms or decreased incarceration rates, as violent crime increased in seven other southern states.

Of our Caddo 488 convictions in adult district court for crimes of violence, 139 were committed by defendants aged 16-24. As we look forward into 2023, our community, our state, and indeed our nation, must grapple with honesty on how to solve the circumstance of young, black males –  most with no prior criminal history – who handle conflicts with others exacerbated through social media – with gun violence and then further retaliatory gun violence.

However,  we are seeing progress in the right direction. Our greatly declining homicide rate in Caddo Parish in 2022 – 52 violent deaths as opposed to 2021’s 91 slayings – mirrors an emerging national trend: Deaths and injuries from firearms and mass shootings went down in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit group that tracks shootings in the United States.  Slayings in large U.S. cities dropped more than five percent in 2022 compared to the same time in 2021, research from the consulting firm AH Datalystics shows.

I pray with you all that these trends continue.  I thank those in the community who have been diligently working with our young people to steer them correctly during these past years of gun violence that have plagued our city.

In 2022, we obtained 188 convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon, and  35 convictions for illegal possession of stolen firearms, and I will continue our hard-line approach to prosecuting gun possession cases by those who are prohibited by law from possessing them.


Not all efforts were directed at criminals. We continued our efforts to reward students identified by their elementary school principals as deserving of a special gift from Santa.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office has gifted area elementary students with new bicycles for Christmas.

This year’s give-away for parish kindergarten through fifth-grade students targeted students identified as truants who have progressed to having outstanding school attendance.

This year, 45 bikes were given out to Caddo K-5 students who have worked with Volunteers for Youth Justice’s truancy program to improve attendance.

Doug Paga at Academy Sporting Goods in Shreveport ordered and assembled all the bicycles. Parents received vouchers to pick up bikes from Academy the week of December 18-24.

In addition to the DA’s office, give-away sponsors were Horseshoe, which contributed $10,000, and Bally’s, which contributed $2,500 for the purchase of bicycles.

I want to thank Volunteers for Youth Justice, our Caddo elementary school principals, Academy, and these sponsors for brightening these deserving children’s Christmas!!


Now, as for criminal cases, December offered a busy close to 2022.   Among the highlights are:

1. A local rapper who shot and killed his uncle while they drove on I-49 near Gilliam in early 2021 was convicted of the murder in Caddo District Court December 6.

Traveion Fields of Bossier City, who was 21 at the time of the slaying and who performs under the stage name Auto-Tray, was found guilty unanimously by the 10-man, two-woman jury in District Judge Donald Hathaway Jr.’s court. The jury also found him responsively guilty of aggravated battery.

Fields traveled to Shreveport from Tennessee January 14, 2021, to visit family, after the YouTube channel Ratchet City criticized him for violent lyrics claimed to be instigating violence in Shreveport.  His grandmother, Debra Douglas, agreed to drive him back to Tennessee on January 17. She asked her nephew, Fields’ uncle Alan Jefferson, to accompany them. That morning, Douglas and Jefferson picked Fields up in Bossier City. Driving north on I-49, Fields, who was in the back seat, unexpectedly and without warning shot Jefferson in the back of the head at point-blank range, as borne out by powder burns found at autopsy. Fields tried to persuade his grandmother to dump Jefferson and drive on, but when that failed Fields attacked and choked her. She was able to stop the car and Fields fled. Ms. Douglas drove the injured Mr. Jefferson to Ochsner LSU Health, where he was pronounced dead.

When Fields was apprehended by Caddo Sheriff’s deputies, he gave multiple accounts of the shooting, at first accusing his grandmother. However, he finally confessed.

The jury deliberated 45 minutes before returning its unanimous verdict.

When Fields returns to Judge Hathaway’s court January 26 he faces a mandatory life at hard labor prison term, without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

Fields was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jason Waltman and Courtney Ray. He was defended by Elizabeth Gibson and Carter Lawrence.

2. A Shreveport man who broke into a home in April 2020 and tried to break in a few weeks later was found guilty of the acts in Caddo District Court December 15.

Damarcus Jones, 29, was charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling on April 25, 2020, and attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling on May 8, 2020.

The four-man, two-woman jury in District Judge Chris Victory’s court deliberated an hour before returning guilty-as-charged verdicts on both charges.

The jury determined that on April 25, 2020, Jones climbed through the front window of a residence on Aline Street, without permission, in the middle of the night. The residents woke up screaming because he was in their home. Then on May 8, 2020 Jones returns to the same residence in the middle of the night and tried  to make forcible entry again. The occupants heard a knock on the window and then saw the front door knob turn. The occupants shouted they would call the police and Jones fled.

When Jones returns to court for sentencing January 17, he faces up to six years in prison with or without hard labor and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for the unauthorized entry conviction and up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500 for the attempted entry.

Jones was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Victoria Washington and Terry Pittman Jr. He was defended by Dave Knadler and Michael Enright.

3. A Shreveport man who pleaded guilty to killing another man at a child’s birthday party in June 2020 was sentenced in Caddo District Court to two decades in prison  December 14.

DeMichael Antonio Turel, 29, pleaded guilty to the negligent homicide of Jermaine Robinson, 31, after gunfire erupted at a birthday celebration in the 5200 block of Bienville Street on June 10, 2020. Robinson was shot in the chest and perished at Ochsner LSU hospital. Turel also pleaded guilty to a home invasion that occurred in December 2020 on Sassafras Street.

District Judge Ramona Emanuel sentenced Turel to the maximum sentence of five years at hard labor on the negligent homicide conviction and to 15 years at hard labor for the home invasion. The terms are to be served consecutively and concurrent with any other sentences Robinson may be serving. A family member of Mr. Robinson was present at the time of sentencing.

Turel was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Treneisha Hill. He was represented by Alex Washington II.

4. A Shreveport man with a felony criminal history found in possession of a weapon and drugs was convicted in Caddo District Court December 13.

The eight-woman, four-man jury in District Judge Erin Leigh Waddell Garrett’s court found Jayden Malik Boyd, 23, guilty as charged of possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a convicted felon, and illegal carrying of weapons while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, marijuana.

On April 7, 2022, while conducting a business check in the 3600 block of Hollywood Avenue, Shreveport police vice officers observed Boyd walking up to the store with a rifle stuffed inside his pants. When Boyd left the store and got into his car, the officers followed him on Hollywood to a liquor store in the 4100 block. Officers then approached Boyd, who consented to a search of his vehicle. In it, officers found a fully loaded automatic AK-47 rifle, as well as marijuana, a digital scale, AR and Glock magazines and 17 Glock rounds.

When Boyd returns to court January 31, he faces at least five and up to 20 years in prison at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence, and or a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces at least five and up to 10 years in prison, also without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence, and-or a fine of up to $10,000, for the drug-related firearms conviction.

Boyd was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Ross Owen and Erica Jefferson. He was defended by Hilary Hileman and Evan McMichael.

5. A Shreveport man with a criminal record found with a stolen handgun during a traffic stop was convicted in Caddo District Court December 13.

The five-woman, one-man jury in District Judge Chris Victory’s court found Marcus Randall Williams, 37, guilty of attempted possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery and guilty of attempted illegal possession of stolen firearms. The jury deliberated almost two hours before returning its verdicts.

Williams was stopped by police for a traffic violation on March 3, 2021. Officers notice a strong odor of marijuana while talking to Williams, who admitted to using marijuana just prior to the stop. Searching the vehicle, officers found a Phoenix handgun in the back seat. The gun had been reported stolen out of Mansfield.

For attempted illegal Possession of stolen firearms, Williams faces imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to 2-1/2 years. For attempted possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery he faces up to 10 years in prison with or without hard labor. He will return to Judge Victory’s court for sentencing January 5.

Williams was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Victoria Washington and Terry Pittman Jr. He was defended by Michael Enright and Dave Knadler.

6. Caddo Parish District Judge Chris Victory sentenced Alonzo Na’jee Thomas, 35, to serve two concurrent five-year hard-labor prison terms following his pleading guilty December 12 to third-offense domestic abuse battery. The court ordered the first year to be served without benefit of probation, parole and suspension of sentence.

Thomas battered his victim by punching her in the face with a closed fist on January 1, 2021, on Jordan Street. The victim was dropping off her children at Thomas’s house when Thomas snatched the victim’s car key fob and began to argue with her. Thomas then prevented his victim from leaving and punched her in the face with a closed fist, injuring her eye.

The case had been set for trial that same day. That was when Thomas changed his plea. He previously plead guilty to domestic abuse battery with strangulation in 2015 as well as domestic abuse battery (second offense) in 2019.

Thomas was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Terry Pittman Jr. and Christopher Bowman. He was defended by Dave Knadler.

7. On December 20, a Shreveport man pleaded guilty to third-offense domestic abuse battery and was sentenced to the maximum prison term and fine allowed under state law. District Judge Chris Victory sentenced Jerry Cupit Jr., 33, to five years in prison, the first year to be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Cupit’s fine for the April 23, 2021 battery on a domestic partner was $2,000, plus court costs.

Cupit battered his victim by grabbing her by the arms and slinging her around the bedroom. He threw the woman against the bedroom wall and bedroom door, and when she fell to the floor he grabbed her and dragged her out of the bedroom by her hair. The attack continued in the living room, where Cupit slung the woman by the hair, making her strike the floor, wall and several pieces of furniture, leading to serious injuries.

Cupit was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Terry Pittman Jr. He was defended by David “Dell” Harville Jr.

8. A Shreveport man who committed two armed robberies and then led police on a high-speed chase through central Shreveport faces more than 200 years in prison following his conviction in Caddo District Court December 8.

Kenyon Lee Dunams, 32, faces a prison term of at least 10 years and up to 99 years on each of two armed robbery convictions when he returns to District Judge John D. Mosely Jr.’s court January 18. Due to conviction as a felon in possession of a firearm, he faces an additional term of at least five years and up to 20 years. The sentences are to be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The weapons possession charge also has a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000.

The five-man, seven-woman jury deliberated just over an hour before returning unanimous guilty-as-charged verdicts on all counts.

In October 2020, Dunams entered the Thrifty Liquor in the 8600 block of Youree Drive and committed an armed robbery. Several hours later, he entered the Papa Johns in the 3900 block of Youree Drive and committed a second armed robbery. In both robberies, he was armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

Shreveport police learned that Dunams left the Papa Johns driving a white four-door Cadillac sedan. Officers spotted and pursued Dunams on Ockley Drive and a high-speed chase ensued. The chase led down Line Avenue and Monrovia Street and eventually to Pierremont Road. Dunams finally was apprehended in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 900 block of Pierremont Road.

When apprehended, Dunams was the sole occupant of the white Cadillac that was registered to him and whose license plate matched that noted by Papa Johns employees. Officers found distinctive clothing shown in surveillance video from each robbery and also recovered a distinctive mask and handgun discarded on Monrovia along the route of the pursuit. DNA recovered from the mask matched Dunams as well.

Dunams was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Cheyenne Wilson and Mekisha Smith Creal. He was defended by Larrion Hillman.

9. A Shreveport man who fled from state troopers following a traffic stop and created potentially life-threatening public safety hazards, pleaded guilty as charged in Caddo District Court December 8.

The jury trial of Laderrius Lewis, 34, was just about to begin in District Judge Donald Hathaway’s court when he changed his plea in connection with the incident that occurred December 19, 2019, at Midway Street and Jewella Avenue in west-central Shreveport. He faced trial on a charge of aggravated obstruction of a highway.

Lewis was driving a Crown Victoria when troopers in an unmarked Louisiana State Police cruiser behind him noticed multiple traffic infractions and activated their unit’s overhead lights to attempt a traffic stop. Lewis indicated he would stop on a side road, but kept pumping his brakes. A uniformed state trooper stepped out of the passenger side to make clear to Lewis he was being stopped by law enforcement. While the trooper was giving commands, Lewis sped away and the officers pursued in a low-speed chase that led through a residential area. Lewis ultimately bailed out of his vehicle and ran off. But he left his car running and in drive. The uncontrolled Crown Victoria veered down the residential street and ultimately came to a stop in the front yard of a residence on Flora Street off of Jewella.

The early afternoon pursuit, with many pedestrians and residents outside in their yards as the cars sped by, was captured on the dash camera of the unmarked unit. When Lewis abandoned the moving car, it was headed directly toward Jewella, on which the video showed a consistent flow of traffic.

When Lewis returns to Judge Hathaway’s court January 4, he faces up to 15 years in prison with or without hard labor. Lewis has prior felony convictions for aggravated flight from an officer and simple burglary in 2007.

Lewis was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Courtney N. Ray and Jason W. Waltman. He was defended by Sean Landry.

10. A Shreveport man who pulled a gun on another driver after a parking lot incident last spring was convicted in Caddo District Court of attempted aggravated assault with a firearm.

Ozzie Washington, 46, was found guilty by the unanimous vote of the three-man, three-woman jury in District Judge Donald Hathaway Jr.’s court December 7 after 20 minutes’ deliberation.

Jurors determined that on March 18, 2021, Washington was in line at the Barksdale Federal Credit Unit on Market Street in downtown Shreveport. While waiting, he felt he was cut off by another customer. Washington got out of his vehicle with a firearm and approached the victim’s vehicle while the victim was taking his cash withdrawal from the ATM. Washington began to yell and become irate at the victim for the perceived traffic infraction, and during this exchange the defendant called for his passenger to “grab the chopper” so he could “blow this mother—–‘s head off.” Washington then produced a handgun and waved it in the air.

When he appears at a to-be-scheduled sentencing appearance, Washington faces a prison term of up to five years.

Washington was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Clinton Bryce Kinley and Jason Waltman. He was defended by Ebony Norris.

Thank you for your time and attention in reading this month’s Desk of the DA.  Again, I thank my prosecutors and staff for their extraordinary work in 2022. Here is to a bright 2023.

At your service,

James E. Stewart, Sr.
Caddo Parish District Attorney

Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office | December 2022