DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - The neighbor who called 911 after a man allegedly beat his girlfriend to death with a pipe said he noticed something unusual about the suspect over the past few weeks and described what he saw as he entered the bedroom where her body was found.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office said Nicole Ozment, 29, of Denham Springs, was found dead in her home Tuesday morning. Her live-in boyfriend, Jerry Pinestraw Jr., 37, is charged with second-degree murder.
Steve Carpenter, who lives next door to where the murder happened in the Eastover Estates Mobile Home Park, said Pinestraw had been more "offensive" for the past month. He said when he saw his neighbor Monday afternoon, something did not seem right with him.
"He seemed like he was in a daze," Carpenter said. "His eyes were bloodshot. Looked like he was tired."
Carpenter said Pinestraw visited him Tuesday morning and told him someone had broken the back door of the trailer he and Ozment shared. Carpenter said Pinestraw claimed he had spent the night at his mother's house in Hammond with two of the three children.
According to Carpenter, Pinestraw asked him to go into the trailer with him to check things out and they saw the back door, which is usually nailed or screwed shut, was wide open. Carpenter said Pinestraw then walked into the bedroom and yelled for him to see something. Carpenter then described what he saw when he walked into the bedroom.
"As I'm entering the room, he's throwing the mattress off the top of her. That's when she was laying on the floor. It freaked me out because I didn't know what happened. And I didn't hear nothing. Didn't nobody screaming or nothing."
Investigators said it is believed Pinestraw killed Ozment using a metal pipe. Deputies arrived at the scene to find her fatally beaten. Her three children were reportedly unharmed and may have witnessed what happened.
"Apparently, they seen it all. I know the one with the cerebral palsy, was in there the whole time. (She) had to be because she was never taken out of the bed, until the ambulance people came and took her out the bed this morning. She was the first one to leave," Carpenter explained.
He said that child was in the same room where Ozment's body was found. He also said when the details about the murder began surfacing and Pinestraw was named a suspect, it was almost unbelievable.
"It's mind blowing because he didn't portray himself as like that, as to be able to do something like that to nobody around here. It blowed everybody's mind," Carpenter added.
He added Pinestraw did have a history of domestic violence.
Pinestraw was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on charges of second-degree murder and three counts of child desertion. His bond was set at $500,000.
The investigation into Ozment's murder is ongoing.