DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A Livingston Parish jury has found a man accused of beating his girlfriend to death with a pipe guilty of second-degree murder.
Jerry Pinestraw Jr., 37, faces life in prison for the murder of 29-year-old Nicole Ozment, of Denham Springs. He was arrested last June after a neighbor called 911.
Ozment was found beaten to death in her home located on Chickasaw Street in Eastover Estates on June 17, 2014. Investigators said it is believed Pinestraw killed Ozment using a metal pipe.
Her three children were inside the house during the incident and may have witnessed what happened.
During the investigation last summer, Pinestraw allegedly told deputies while being questioned that he hit his girlfriend with a pipe.
"The forensic scientist said the beatings she endured were some of the worst that he's ever seen. Of course knowing that he's not ever going to be released to subject anyone else to that type of treatment is good, the main concern now is the children," said Barbara Brewer, a relative of Ozment. "Even with this sentence, the devastation that has been left with the children - because they are now separated, and I can't have visitation with them because I'm not their biological great grandmother. There's such pain involved with not being able to see those children to let them know that they are loved."
Brewer is the mother of Nicole's adopted mother. Nicole lived with Brewer for a while after Brewer's daughter died when Nicole was a teenager.
Pinestraw was also charged with 3 counts of child desertion in connection to the incident. Sheriff Ard noted last summer that Pinestraw has a history of domestic violence.
The sentencing date for Pinestraw has been set for September 14.