March 31, 2023
It has been a busy March in your District Attorney’s office.
The Caddo Parish Grand Jury returned four indictments in its session ending March 15.
Two area men were named in separate indictments, with the most serious charge second-degree murder in connection with a death that occurred February 7.
In the first indictment, Mark Deon White, 17, of Bossier City, and Demarquise Lyntrell Tramiel, also 17 and from Shreveport, were charged with the slaying of DeAnthony Johnson and aggravated flight from an officer. Mr. Johnson, 19, was shot several times outside the Goodwill Store at Union Avenue and West 69th Street.
In the second indictment, White and Tramiel were charged with separate counts of aggravated criminal property damage with regard to vehicles damaged during the defendants’ flight from officers.
The third indictment charged Dalton Christopher Robinson, 25, of Shreveport, with second-degree murder in connection with the January 12 death of his grandfather, 77-year-old Sidney Robinson. The older man was found hatcheted to death in a residence in the 400 block of Washington Street by another relative. He had been beaten about the head and face and suffered other lacerations.
In the fourth indictment, Kentreal Raymond Hunt, 27, was charged with the November 22, 2022 second-degree murder of Rodrick Robinson. Mr. Robinson, 25, was found mortally wounded at a convenience store in the 4300 block of Linwood Avenue. He died later at Ochsner LSU Health hospital. A second count in the indictment charged Hunt with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
We also secured numerous convictions, accepted guilty pleas and saw many convicted of crimes sentenced for their misdeeds.
* On March 23, District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. sentenced Shreveporter Joseph Lee Smith, 35, to 60 years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence in connection with the March 2021 slaying of five-year-old Mya Patel. Smith also must serve 20 years for obstruction of justice and 20 years for aggravated battery, for separate convictions associated with the Patel slaying. Those terms must also be served at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence.
The terms were enhanced by Smith being a repeat felony offender and are to be served consecutively, for the total of 100 years.
On March 20, 2021, Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel in the 4900 block of Monkhouse Drive in west Shreveport. The motel was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived in a ground-floor unit with Mya and a younger sibling. During the altercation, Smith struck the other man with a 9-mm handgun, which discharged. The bullet missed the other man, but went into the apartment to struck Mya Patel in the head before grazing Snehal Patel. Mya died of her wound on March 23, 2021.
Smith was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Mekisha Smith Creal and Monique Y. Metoyer. He was defended by Casey Simpson and Harry Johnson.
* On March 9, Shamichael Antonio Pearson, 19, was found guilty-as-charged of second-degree murder in connection with the March 3, 2022 shooting death of star Huntington High School basketball player Devin Dewayne Myers. The jury in District Judge Chris Victory’s court — nine men and three women — found him guilty as-charged.
Mr. Myers was shot a day after his 17th birthday as he picked up a cell phone charger on Lillian Street. Pearson stated “didn’t I tell you that I was going to get you” and shot Myers approximately 13 times in the back. At least two of shots were fired as Pearson stood over Myers’ body. Pearson’s residence was searched and a Glock 9mm, later tied to Pearson by DNA and proved to be the murder weapon, was found hidden in a freezer.
Pearson was sentenced March 27 to mandatory life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Approximately 10 members of Mr. Myers’ family were present, as were members of Pearson’s family.
Assistant District Attorneys Sam Crichton And Christopher Bowman prosecuted. Pearson was defended by Michael Enright and Dave Knadler.
* Santavius Deangelo Bailey, 34, found guilty February 9 of aggravated flight from an officer and two weapons charges. On March 3, he was sentenced to 15 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm, three years for aggravated flight from an officer, deemed to be a crime of violence, and three years for illegal possession of stolen firearms. District Judge Chris Victory ordered the terms to be served consecutively, for a total of 21 years.
On March 26, 2022, Shreveport police responded to a restaurant on Monkhouse Drive after getting reports that an inebriated man tried to fight employees. Given a description of the drunk’s vehicle, police attempted to stop Bailey for questioning. But he drove off at a high rate of speed down Monkhouse and Jefferson Paige Road, going into oncoming traffic, leaving the roadway multiple times, running a stop sign and a red light until he drove his car into a ditch. Bailey was ejected, along with a handgun and other items, through the windshield. Police later found the gun, which had been reported as stolen.
Bailey was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Sam Crichton and Victoria Washington. He was defended by Dave Knadler and Michael Enright.
* Probable cause was found in Caddo Parish Juvenile Court March 3 on Caleb Gray, 15, for second-degree murder in connection with the February 23 slaying of 19-year-old Ahmedziondre Bailey.
I have decided to try Gray as an adult. Mr. Bailey’s death was the result of a shooting that occurred in the 3600 block of Michigan Avenue in the Queensborough neighborhood.
SPD’s investigation into the shooting revealed that Gray shot Bailey in the chest and leg after Gray attempted to rob Bailey. Bailey was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Gray was remanded to the juvenile detention center without bond, and is now housed at Caddo Correctional Center.
Assistant District Attorney Janet Silvie secured the finding.
* A Shreveport man charged with participation in a 2020 murder and robbery pleaded guilty in Caddo District Court to manslaughter and robbery March 20 and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Javonpe Deandre Winbush, 18, allocuted before District Judge Ramona Emanuel, who sentenced him to 35 years at hard labor for his part in the slaying, and to 35 years for the robbery, with the first 25 years to be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. The sentences are to run concurrently.
I decided to try Winbush as an adult, as he was 16 at the time of the slaying, and he was transferred to Caddo District Court after the initial continued custody hearing in Caddo Juvenile Court.
Had he not taken the plea arrangement, Winbush faced a mandatory life prison term had he been convicted as charged of second-degree murder. The plea arrangement was agreed to by the mother of the victim, 26-year-old Joshua Roshell.
Winbush has two separately indicted co-defendants who face trial in Caddo District Court.
Victim Roshell, 26, was contacted by phone in September 2020 and offered a chance to buy marijuana. Mr. Roshell met Winbush and his co-defendants at a vacant house in the 1800 block of Doris Street. The three men forced Mr. Roshell out of his car and robbed him at gunpoint. One of the co-defendants removed his hoodie, revealing his face to the victim. The three assailants then shot Mr. Roshell once in the head, then left the murder scene in Mr. Roshell’s car, which later was found abandoned on Slattery Boulevard. Mr. Roshell’s body was discovered September 24, 2020.
Winbush incriminated a “Ray Ray” who was not arrested due to a lack of corroborating evidence. A co-defendant who claimed he was not present during the robbery and slaying but rode with Winbush later in the victim’s car, claimed Winbush admitted to him that he had shot Mr. Roshell.
Winbush was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kodie Smith and Bill Edwards. He was defended by Katie Ferguson and Royal Alexander.
* A Shreveport man who pretended to be a police officer and terrorized a local woman was found guilty March 23 in Caddo District Court.
Reginald Jamar Ruffins, 36, was charged with false personation of a peace officer, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and false imprisonment with a dangerous weapon in connection with an incident that occurred June 22, 2022.
The five-man, one-woman jury in District Judge Donald E. Hathaway’s court deliberated around 90 minutes before finding Ruffins guilty-as-charged on the criminal impersonation charge and guilty responsively to the false imprisonment charge.
On June 22, 2022, Ruffins went to the Cooper Road Plaza Apartments dressed in a ballistic vest, duty rig belt and multiple law enforcement style tools, such as handcuffs, a collapsible baton and a pepper spray gun. He entered an apartment and handcuffed the resident while he searched her dwelling for a gun she was legally allowed to possess. The woman’s children were present at the time. The woman believed Ruffins to be in law enforcement and testified that he presented himself as such. Ruffins had been to the apartment complex multiple times trying to secure a paid contract with the complex to do security patrols and presented himself as a member of SPD to the apartment complex manager.
When Ruffins returns to Judge Hathaway’s court April 5 for sentencing, he faces up to two years in prison with or without hard labor for the criminal impersonation. However, he has four prior felony convictions in Caddo and Bossier parishes, as well as a prior conviction in Texas for impersonation of a police officer. The state will file a habitual offender bill against Ruffins. As a fourth-felony offender he faces a mandatory 20 year sentence at hard labor.
He also faces up to six months in Caddo Correctional Center on the false imprisonment conviction.
Prosecutors were Assistant District Attorneys Courtney N. Ray and Jason W. Waltman. He was defended by Sean Landry.
* A Shreveport man accused of sex crimes against two family members over a span of two decades faces life in prison following his conviction in District Judge Donald Hathaway Jr.’s court March 22.
Rustin Randall Middleton, 36, was found guilty as charged of four counts alleging crimes against two juvenile victims between the years 2003 to 2006 and 2014 to 2019. He was charged with two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual battery.
Both victims testified, along with with other family members, detectives and two experts who testified about the dynamics of sexual assaults on children. The attacks occurred within Shreveport and in Caddo Parish.
Middleton will return to court April 5, where he faces life in prison for each count of aggravated rape, 25 to 99 years for sexual battery in the case of one victim and up to 10 years in prison for the other victim.
Middleton was prosecuted by the Caddo District Attorney’s office Special Victims Unit Assistant District Attorneys Ron Christopher Stamps, Britney Green and Christopher Bowman. He was defended by Elizabeth Gibson and Carter Lawrence.
* Shreveporter Cleveland Earl Richardson Jr., 59, was convicted March 24, of fourth-offense DWI. A six-person jury in Caddo District Judge Donald E. Hathaway Jr.’s court unanimously convicted him after an hour’s deliberation.
A Caddo Sheriff’s deputy approached Richardson after Richardson crashed his car on the side of the road on December 20, 2020. Upon approach, the deputy smelled a strong odor of alcohol and asked Richardson to perform standard field sobriety tests. That led to Richardson becoming extremely irate, threatening the deputy with violence and refusing any tests, including a breath test or a blood draw.
Richardson has multiple DWI convictions spanning 25 years.
Richardson was remanded pending sentencing April 4, when he faces at least 10 years and up to 30 years in prison with or without hard labor.
Assistant District Attorneys Bryce Kinley and Jason Waltman prosecuted Richardson. He was represented by Elizabeth Gibson and Carter Lawrence of the Caddo Parish Public Defender’s office.
At Caddo Parish Juvenile Court, many high profile matters came to conclusions:
* The stolen car chase that ended in a February high profile crash on Hollywood and Jewella Avenues where five juveniles ran away and were caught by SPD, and two stolen automatic rifles and numerous clips and gun attachments were discovered, were all finalized and adjudicated at Caddo Parish Juvenile Court. All were convicted of possession of stolen gun charges and sentenced. The juvenile driver was also convicted of aggravated flight from an officer and unauthorized use of a stolen vehicle, was a runaway from OJJ custody from a previous armed robbery conviction, and received an additional three-year sentence from Caddo Parish Juvenile Judge Ree Casey-Jones. Assistant District Attorney Jerry Deason prosecuted. Attorneys Joshua Scott, Kevin Berg, Richard Lamb, Kia Richardson, and Rasheed Young provided defense for the various defendants.
* Nicholas Crye, 17 pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the December 29, 2022 murder of 17-year-old Corterion Collins in Vivian. After a sentencing hearing, Crye was ordered to serve the maximum sentence of juvenile life—incarceration until his 21st birthday. — by Judge Ree Casey-Jones. After thorough review by the prosecutors, this was deemed the only option to guarantee any accountability for the senseless death of the victim due to the conflicting versions from the teens involved on both sides of the conflict. Assistant District Attorney Jerry Deason prosecuted Crye, who was represented by attorney Eric Johnson.
* A December 2022 high-profile car burglary ring at an auto auction in Greenwood came to justice and a 16-year-old male with no prior criminal history pleaded guilty to felony illegal possession of stolen things. He was sentenced by Caddo Parish Juvenile Judge Natalie Howell to two years incarceration, suspended, and one year intensive supervised probation. Assistant District Attorney Janet Silvie prosecuted the matter. Public defender Sarah Smith represented the defendant.
* We also had our first known distribution of pornography of juveniles conviction in juvenile court. A 16-year-old male received a two-year sentence from Juvenile Judge Natalie Howell. Assistant District Attorney Janet Silvie secured the conviction. The defendant was defended by public defender Sarah Smith.
* A 14-year-old male was convicted of sexual battery of a younger male relative and sentenced to two years incarceration by Juvenile Judge Natalie Howell. Assistant District Attorney Janet Silvie prosecuted and public defender Mark Manno represented the offender.
The month ahead is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this office’s Special Victim Unit and other assistant district attorneys will be participating in its many awareness events.
The first Tuesday of every April is the SAAM Day of Action. It is an opportunity to start off the month with highly visible and coordinated actions. To learn more or post your event for this month, search or email to find SAAM-related social media content, or participate in the #30DaysofSAAM Instagram challenge.
Lastly, major news in your Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office in March was the addition of a new staff member.
Ivy Woodard comes to us from Shreve Memorial Library, where she worked almost 25 years as a public relations and media specialist. Prior to that, she worked in local broadcast journalism, notably with KTBS TV, Channel 3. She comes to our office to team with office spokesman John Andrew Prime to manage our social media side and assist with our Web page and other digital duties. She is a graduate of Green Oaks High School and Grambling State University.
You can also find a March 29 interview with me on the KEEL radio website, discussing many matters of the criminal justice system. Thank you to longtime host Erin McCarty for her hospitality and the opportunity to answer your questions.
As always serving the citizens of Caddo Parish,
James E. Stewart Sr.,
District Attorney and retired judge