District Attorney: Ascension murder rate has doubled - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

District Attorney: Ascension murder rate has doubled

Ascension murders (Source: WAFB) Ascension murders (Source: WAFB)
ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin made an alarming discovery while going through case files set for trial this year. The number of murders has more than doubled.

Babin is used to carrying heavy caseloads between Ascension, Assumption, and St. James Parishes. But this year, he said, his office is slammed with an unusual number of homicides in one parish in particular.

"I'll just speak to Ascension. One, two, zero, or three murders a year would be an average year. Last year we had eight," Babin said.

One of them involves the final suspect in the vicious 2012 triple murder at the Gonzales home of Robert and Shirley Marchand. Detectives believe five people were responsible for killing the couple and their son, Douglas Dooley, to get their hands on a safe that contained valuable coins. The final suspect in the case, Devon James, is set to go on trial in the Spring.

"It was a heinous crime and I just think the community needs to heal."

Two others involve separate domestic disputes that ended in murders on Roddy Road. David Adams and Gerardo Lua are both charged with second degree murder. Another man, Dominique Brown, is going on trial for allegedly murdering a hair stylist.

Babin said his cases point to something bigger.

"Ascension Parish is not the rural parish that it used to be. We've become urbanized. We are a suburb of Baton Rouge and we are seeing the results."

While tackling the homicide cases, Babin's office is also busy with hundreds of others including the child pornography and animal cruelty charges brought against ex-Sorrento Mayor Wilson Longanecker Junior.

Babin said keeping the cases current and building them accurately can be costly. The District Attorney said this year he has had to hire additional investigators and office workers.

"We had to go to the parish and beg and borrow to get additional funding for the office to make sure we can keep up."

Now that he has secured the funding, Babin said his staff is busy preparing for three murder trials all set for March.

"All in all it's going to be an extremely busy year for our office."

Copyright WAFB 2015. All Rights Reserved.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Man admits slaying wife, blames her for daughters' deaths

    Man admits slaying wife, blames her for daughters' deaths

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 12:15 AM EDT2018-08-21 04:15:23 GMT
    Tuesday, August 21 2018 9:39 AM EDT2018-08-21 13:39:53 GMT
    Christopher Watts, 33, faces three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murdering a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. (Source: Weld County Sheriff/KMGH/CNN)Christopher Watts, 33, faces three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murdering a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. (Source: Weld County Sheriff/KMGH/CNN)

    The father of two told police in court papers released Monday that he killed his pregnant wife after witnessing her strangling one of the girls on a baby monitor.

    More >>

    The father of two told police in court papers released Monday that he killed his pregnant wife after witnessing her strangling one of the girls on a baby monitor.

    More >>
  • US deports former Nazi camp guard, 95, to Germany

    US deports former Nazi camp guard, 95, to Germany

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 4:18 AM EDT2018-08-21 08:18:16 GMT
    Tuesday, August 21 2018 9:39 AM EDT2018-08-21 13:39:12 GMT
    The deportation of the 95-year-old former concentration camp guard, Jakiw Palij, came 25 years after investigators first confronted him about his World War II past and he admitted lying to get into the U.S. (Source: Department of Justice)The deportation of the 95-year-old former concentration camp guard, Jakiw Palij, came 25 years after investigators first confronted him about his World War II past and he admitted lying to get into the U.S. (Source: Department of Justice)

    The White House says a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Germany, 14 years after a judge ordered him deported.

    More >>

    The White House says a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Germany, 14 years after a judge ordered him deported.

    More >>
  • 3-year-old found dead in dryer, father says

    3-year-old found dead in dryer, father says

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 7:16 AM EDT2018-08-21 11:16:10 GMT

    Authorities have yet to determine a cause of death for a boy found dead at a townhouse. The boy's father said after a rough night, he found the boy dead in the dryer.

    More >>

    Authorities have yet to determine a cause of death for a boy found dead at a townhouse. The boy's father said after a rough night, he found the boy dead in the dryer.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly