During May I received numerous invites from you to various high school, college and university graduations throughout this area.  I congratulate all of our 2024 graduates on their accomplishment ! I wish you all best wishes and pray you all put your trust in God, and look to Him for guidance in your next journeys through life.


May was another  productive month for your District Attorney’s office.  Among cases of note:


On May 6, a Shreveport man charged with vehicular homicide after he caused a multi-vehicle wreck that killed one man and seriously injured several others, including a child, pleaded guilty in Caddo District Court.


Stephen Scott Stasny, 42, pleaded guilty to causing the May 27, 2022 fiery wreck on U.S. Highway 80 that killed James Dowden.


That day, Stasny drove west on Highway 80 when his Toyota Tundra crossed the center line. This caused another driver to swerve near the guardrail of a bridge to avoid a head-on collision. That driver looked in his rearview mirror and saw Stasny’s Tundra hit Dowden’s truck behind him head-on. That vehicle caught on fire, killing Mr. Dowden. Stasny’s vehicle hit the truck, flipping on top of a pickup driven by yet another driver. A woman and her minor child in that truck, which also caught on fire, were injured. Several prescriptions were found inside Stasny’s vehicle, as well as multiple Schedule 1 narcotics. Blood toxicology determined that Stasny was under the influence of multiple scheduled narcotics that required caution while driving.


When Stasny returns to Judge Michael Pitman’s court July 1, 2024, he faces a fine of at least $2,000 and up to $15,000, and also must serve a hard-labor prison term of at least five and up to 30 years, with a least three years to be imposed without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.


Stasny was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Victoria Washington. He was defended by J. Dhu Thompson.


The case was docket No. 390779.


Also May 6, a man who as a teen was involved in a deadly shooting spree outside a southeast Shreveport movie theater, pleaded guilty, just as his trial was about to begin.


Ikerryunt’a Vernell Stewart, now 20, faced one count of second-degree murder, eight counts of attempted second-degree murder and four counts of aggravated property damage. He pleaded guilty before District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. to manslaughter and eight counts of attempted second-degree murder, with sentencing left to the discretion of the court.


Stewart, who was 17 at the time, September 4, 2021, fired 21 rounds from an AK-47 style rifle into the intersection at Youree and East Bert Kouns after a separate shooting at the Tinseltown movie theater just minutes before; two other juveniles charged in the case also fired weapons into the intersection. This resulted in the death of 13-year-old Kel’vonte Daigre and injury to two others. It also endangered the lives of six others present at the time.


Police recovered approximately 50 rounds fired by Stewart and his co-defendants. He was apprehended after a police chase. A search of his  phone showed multiple messages sent while he was hiding from the police after the car chase and foot pursuit, in which he admitted to the shootout.


The family of victim Kel’vonte Daigre agreed to the plea. Sentencing is set for August 7, 2024. Stewart faces up to 440 years at hard labor for the crimes.


Stewart was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Courtney N. Ray and William J. Edwards. He was defended by Richard T Dale Woolbert.


The case was docket Nos. 401392 and 401393.


On May 9, a Sabine Parish man found guilty last month of murdering a romantic rival, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life, and then some, in prison.


Joshua Cornell Palmer, a 36-year-old Many resident, was found guilty in District Judge Ramona Emanuel’s court April 24, of shooting and killing Dominique Roland, 32, on May 31, 2021. Palmer, a convicted felon, got the firearm used in the slaying from his ex-girlfriend prior to Roland visiting the woman. When Roland left the apartment, Palmer approached him and walked with him down the street, shooting him three times, once in the face and twice in the chest.


Judge Emanuel sentenced Palmer to a mandatory life prison term without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence for the slaying. She also added a consecutive 19-year sentence, again without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, for possession of the firearm.


Palmer was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Brittany Arvie and Senae Hall. He was defended by Royal Alexander and Dave Knadler.


The case was docket No. 385761.


A Shreveport man who led Shreveport police on an almost four-mile long chase following an attempted traffic stop was convicted of aggravated flight from an officer May 22 in Caddo District Court.


The 11-woman, one-man jury in District Judge Ramona Emanuel’s court deliberated a little over an hour before its unanimous guilty verdict against Jerron Bailey Sr., 38, with regard to events that transpired on November 13, 2022.


Evidence and testimony proved to jurors’ satisfaction that Bailey, who officers tried to stop for driving 92 mph in a 60 mph zone, fled at speeds of up to 25 mph over the limit, running red lights and crossing the roadway center lane.


When Bailey returns to Judge Emanuel’s court June 24, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison at hard labor.


Bailey was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Fernando Grider and Senae Hall. He was defended by Dave Knadler and Royal Alexander.


The case was docket No. 392336.


A Shreveport man convicted earlier this month of beating and robbing an acquaintance over a monetary dispute was sentenced May 29 to serve the maximum prison time for the crime, 40 years at hard labor.


Johnny “Pooh” Thompson Jr., 47, was found guilty as charged of second-degree robbery May 7 in District Judge Michael Pitman’s court.


On April 2, 2022, victim Robert Wayne Williams, went to a friend’s house on Audrey Lane to play dominoes, during which time he placed money on the kitchen table. While Williams and his friend drank and played dominoes, Thompson arrived and, seeing the money, confronted Williams about $60 he owed him. Thompson demanded the money and struck Williams in the face. Thompson continued to strike Williams, despite efforts by the friend to stop the beating. Williams, beaten unconscious, was then dragged by Thompson out of the house and into a car to be taken to an abandoned house on Kelsey Street, about a mile away.


Williams was found by officers, disoriented and unable to say how he got there. He was transported to Ochsner LSU Health and over time was taken to a nursing facility, and then hospice, where he died in February 2023, about 10 months the after the altercation with Thompson. However complicating health factors led to a determination that Williams died from natural causes.


Thompson was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Victoria Washington and Sam Crichton. He was defended by Michael Enright.


The case was docket No. 391914.


A Shreveport man found guilty in April in Caddo District Court of sex crimes committed against a minor child over several years must spend the next 55 years in prison.


Thursday, May 30, District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. decreed the term to be served by Rory Chevalier Pipkin, 35. He was convicted in Judge Mosely’s court April 11 of third-degree rapes committed against a former girlfriend’s minor daughter from January 2017 through early June 2019.


Pipkin received the enhanced sentence as a fourth-time habitual offender. His sentence must be served at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. He also must register as a sex offender for life upon his release from prison.


Assistant District Attorneys Courtney N. Ray and Kendra Joseph prosecuted for the state. Pipkin was defended by Casey Simpson, Harry Johnson and Hilary Hileman.


The case was docket No. 386967.


The Caddo Parish Grand Jury returned 13 true bills in its session that ended May 15. Six were for murders and associated crimes committed this year, while the remainder were for first-degree rapes and associated sex crimes.


* Jadavion Decorey Cooper, 21, and Dequavion Dangelo Pouncy, 19, both of Shreveport, were separately indicted for second-degree murder in connection with the February 15 shooting death of Jtorryon Williams. Mr. Williams, 20, was shot numerous times in the parking lot of an apartment in the 4300 block of Lakeshore Drive. Cooper’s indictment is docket No. 400427. Pouncy’s indictment is docket No. 400865.


* Deanthony Rayshon Griffin, 28, and Laterrion Treshon Watts, 23, both of Shreveport, and Demond Sirlloyd Baber, 22, of Fort Worth, Texas, were separately indicted for second-degree murder in connection with the February 11 slaying of Karter Martin and the attempted second-degree murder of Isaiah Cooks. Martin, 1, was struck in the head by a bullet fired into an apartment in the 200 block of East Stoner Avenue in the early morning hours. Griffin’s indictment is No. 400232. Watts’ indictment is No. 400359. Babers’ indictment is No. 400520.


* Fatonious Ballard, 31, of Shreveport, was indicted for second-degree murder in connection with the February 18 slaying of Dwight Green and for possession of a firearm or a concealed weapon by a convicted felon. Green, 29, was shot and killed as he barbecued with friends in the parking lot of a business in the 5100 block of Broadway Avenue in the Mooretown neighborhood in west-central Shreveport. The case is docket No. 400341.


The indictments for sexual crimes were issued under seal, with few details available due to the nature of the alleged acts.


Charged with first-degree rape and indecent behavior with juveniles in Frank Mazen Jr., 38, of Shreveport. He was booked into Caddo Correctional Center February 14. The case is docket No. 400225.

* Timothy Tippit III, no age or residence available, is charged with first-degree rape. The case is docket No. 400362.

* Christopher Dewayne Christaw, 34, of Shreveport, is charged with first-degree rape. He was booked into CCC on April 12. The case is docket No. 400437.

* Taurrez Richardson, 33, no residence available, was indicted for first-degree rape. He was booked into CCC February 28. The case is docket No. 400523.

* Dustin Metcalf, 25, of Shreveport, was indicted for first-degree rape. He was booked into CCC February 29. The case is docket No. 400578.

* James Lamont Washington, 50, of Shreveport, was indicted for first-degree rape. He was booked into CCC March 1. The case is docket No. 400572.

* Daniel Havis, 32, of Shreveport, was indicted for first-degree rape. He was booked into CCC January 25. The case is docket No. 399872.


Our office will try a 17-year old Shreveporter for his role in a shooting outside a popular eatery earlier this year.


Demariea Jennings will be charged as an adult on two separate charges of attempted second-degree murder for shootings he allegedly committed March 27 and April 17.


On March 27, Jennings is alleged to have been the shooter in an incident in the parking lot of Applebee’s on Mansfield Road, where the victim was headed to his vehicle  and suffered multiple gunshot wounds fired by someone in a nearby automobile. On April 17, Jennings is alleged to have been one of several shooters in a drive-by shooting of an occupied residence on Grassmere Street in Shreveport. In this incident, the driver, Jennings’ stepmother Shuntara Wilson, 30, was arrested for attempted second-degree murder, principal to attempted second-degree murder and compounding a felony.


Two more Caddo Parish teens will be tried as adults for their alleged roles in recent crimes.


Marques Wilson Jr. and Caden Thomas, both 17, are being transferred from juvenile court to be tried as adults in connection with the April 7 group beating and robbery of a man outside the David Raines Community Center in Shreveport.


The incident arose after a fight between two females, one of whom asked the group of males to beat up the victim who was the boyfriend of the other female. The victim was beaten, kicked and struck with a rifle. He was hospitalized with a fractured nose and bruised intestines. In addition, several items were stolen.


Wilson and Thomas, along with several adults — Desmond George, 22;  Donavyn Simpson, 25; Patrick Stricklin, 25; Durioki Hawkins, 30; Franklin Williams, 20; Keandre Dotie, 19; and Donya Williams 19 —  are all charged with armed robbery and second-degree battery with regard to this incident, and will face trial before Caddo Parish District Judge Mike Pitman.


Our juvenile court remains busy as usual.  As I write this column, there are 18 juveniles in our 24 bed parish juvenile detention center.    Truancy court begins a well-earned summer break until late August, while services are ongoing for those families in need.  All other juvenile courts remain in operation.   Of note, the parish FINS office (Families In Need of Services) has moved from behind juvenile court to The Harbor, where families can access immediate counseling in the one-stop shop goal of The Harbor.  So if you have an ungovernable child or a child with runaway behavior, please go to The Harbor for help, 3004 Knight Street, Building 6 Shreveport.


I pray for a safe summer for our young people.   Parents please supervise your children, know where your children are,  and who they are with.   Do not allow them to cruise

the streets.  And be very careful around water, from small children at pools to teens at lakes.


At your service,


James E. Stewart, Sr.

Caddo Parish District Attorney