BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One suspect facing charges in connection with the death of a convicted sex offender entered a not guilty plea Wednesday.
Jace Crehan, 21, of Denham Springs, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Robert Noce Jr., 47, of Zachary. He will return to court on November 9 for a status hearing. If convicted of second-degree murder, Crehan faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole or probation.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Crehan confessed that he entered Noce's home in the 3000 block of South Vernon Road, stabbed him and strangled him. Noce's body was found inside the home on July 4.
Crehan reportedly also admitted to detectives that he placed Noce's body into a plastic 55-gallon drum.
Brittany Monk, 17, of Denham Springs, is also charged with second-degree murder. Her attorney has filed a motion to get Monk's bond reduced. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for November 13.
Court records show Noce had accepted a plea deal for sex crimes against a juvenile less than two weeks before his death. He pleaded "no contest" (neither admitted to nor denied) to a charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
Although Noce was sentenced to 10 years in prison, he was given credit for time served and the remainder of his sentence was suspended by Judge Trudy White. He was placed on supervised probation for five years.
The probable cause report notes that the abuse occurred for several years and started when the child was 4 years old.
Court records indicate Monk may have been the victim of the sex crimes, but officials with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said they cannot comment on that part of the investigation.