Criminal histories of the suspects in 15-year-old's murder

Criminal histories of the suspects in 15-year-old's murder
The vans arriving with two juveniles from Monroe. (Source: WAFB)
The vans arriving with two juveniles from Monroe. (Source: WAFB)

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - After four people were arrested Wednesday accused of the beating death of 15-year-old Brandon Augusta, the 9News Investigators dug further into the criminal histories of the four suspects.
 
Marcus Ester and Tyrell Williams were two of the four suspects arrested. Two others were juveniles whose names cannot be released at this time.
 
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the four were with Augusta on Aug. 9, 2014 along the levee when there was a fight. Sheriff Wiley added the way Augusta's body was so brutally beaten, it led officials to believe the group was high on synthetic marijuana.

Looking further into the criminal histories, the 9News Investigators found previous arrests.

Marcus Ester, 21

  • 21 total arrests, 8 of those are felonies
  • 12 arrests as adult, 7 of those felonies
  • 9 arrests as juvenile, 1 of those felony

Tyrell Williams, 18

  • 1 charge as a juvenile & 1 charge as an adult

Unnamed juvenile, 17

  • 20 arrests on 53 charges

Unnamed juvenile, 16

  • 2 arrests

Due to two of the suspects being juveniles, their criminal records are not open to the public. However, the other two were.

Williams' only charge as an adult is first degree murder in the alleged killing of Augusta.

Ester, however, had a lengthy criminal history.

1. FELONY: 2 counts simple burglary (7/26/11)
~1 count dismissed (10/16/12)
~1 count plead guilty and served 5 yrs probation (10/16/12)

2. FELONY: 1 count illegal possession of stolen things (1/18/12)
~Dismissed (10/16/12)

3. FELONY: 9 counts simple burglary (1/31/12)
~Dismissed (10/16/12)

4. FELONY: Burglary, dwelling (1/31/12)
~Dismissed (10/16/12)

5. FELONY: Simple Criminal damage to property (1/31/12)
~Dismissed (10/16/12)

6. FELONY: Simple burglary (12/18/12)
~Plead guilty to lesser offense of theft less than $500 and served 6 months in parish jail (4/16/13)

7. Disturbing the peace & 2 counts simple battery (2/24/11)
~Plead guilty 60 days in parish jail for each count, concurrent (8/25/11) 

8. Vagrancy, Resisting an officer & disturbing the peace (1/7/12)
~Plead guilty 30 days parish jail for each count, concurrent (6/28/12)

9. Simple Criminal Damage to Property less than $500 (5/7/12)
~60 days parish jail (2/28/13)

10. Disturbing the peace & resisting an officer (11/10/12)
~50 days for each count in parish jail, concurrent (2/28/13)

11. Resisting an officer (12/18/12)
~Plead guilty 30 days parish jail (5/30/13)

12. FELONY: Possession of firearm by a felon, aggravated assault with a firearm, 2 counts aggravated criminal damage to property & resisting an officer (10/30/14)
~Dismissed (5/6/15)

Ascension Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin said they had reason to dismiss all the charges on Oct. 30, 2014.

"The weapon never was recovered. The victim in the case had claimed that this guy had pulled a gun and shot at him, as he told police originally. We had him in court on a preliminary hearing and he changed his testimony. He changed his story," said Babin.
 
Some citizens feel the juvenile justice system is also to blame. Offenders' records are not open to the public, and the system perhaps is too lenient.
 
"That's a very lenient, a very understanding, a very accommodating system," said Sheriff Wiley.
 
Marilyn Lambert is a juvenile court judge in Ascension Parish and said she would not call the juvenile system lenient. Instead, she said it can be more "flexible" only because they're trying to turn children around.
 
"What you're trying to do with the juvenile is stop this juvenile from becoming an adult criminal so you might have the opportunity to bring in more resources and rehabilitation efforts for a young person," said Judge Lambert.

But when there are cases of repeat juvenile offenders, Judge Lambert said some are charged as adults and taken out of the juvenile system. Others, in her courtroom, she said she makes sure they do not get back out on the streets.