The mother of two men once accused in a murder case in which several witnesses later were killed was ordered to spend two years in prison Thursday for trying to bribe a shooting victim in another case to not press charges against one of her sons.
Dangelique Duheart Russ, who pleaded guilty in May to public bribery, was handcuffed by East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies and led from the courtroom after state District Judge Tony Marabella sentenced her.
Marabella, who noted that Russ had several felony theft convictions in the mid-1990s and another in 2003, said she showed no remorse for her latest criminal actions, denied any culpability and only pleaded guilty because she thought she would be put on probation.
The judge actually sentenced Russ to five years in prison but suspended all but two years of the sentence and ordered her to be placed on active supervised probation for five years after her release from prison.
Russ, 43, is the mother of Denako, Dearius and Denard Duheart.
Denako “Mutt’’ Duheart, 25, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last month in the Nov. 21, 2009, shooting of Julius Carter on Chippewa Street near Interstate 110. Duheart was convicted of attempted second-degree murder in November.
It was in that case that Russ was accused of public bribery. Police said she approached Carter between Dec. 1, 2009, and Dec. 3, 2009, and offered him $1,000 in exchange for dropping charges against her son.
Carter contacted police, and Russ was arrested Dec. 10, 2009.
Her arrest came about two months after charges against Denako and Dearius Duheart, 22, and Andrea Williams were dropped in the 2007 beating and burning death of Jason Fourmy, 39.
Fourmy’s remains were found in a wooded area in the 1400 block of Gayosa Street on Oct. 31, 2007. An autopsy showed he was alive when he was taken to the woods and set on fire.
Denako and Dearius Duheart and Williams initially were charged with first-degree murder in Fourmy’s killing, but the charges were reduced several times and eventually dropped in September 2009 after three witnesses were shot to death — two in late 2007 and one in mid-2009.
No arrests have been made in the slayings of the witnesses.
Dearius Duheart remains in custody pending trial on alleged weapons violations.
Denard Duheart, 28, was arrested in April on drug charges after authorities conducted a search of his home and found about 3 pounds of marijuana, 532 doses of ecstasy, six doses of prescription acetaminophen, a dose of hydrocodone and a digital scale, sheriff’s officials said.