A Vidalia woman was arrested Thursday, accused of leaving two 6-month old puppies in a closet of an Baton Rouge apartment for a week with no food or water in over 90-degree weather without air-conditioning.

The owner of the puppies, a soldier who was deployed overseas, had paid Latonya Sheppard, 27, to look after them, said East Baton Rouge Animal Control Director Hilton Cole.

The puppies were discovered when the Baton Rouge Constable’s Office was evicting an apartment at 1251 N. Ardenwood Drive, according to the affidavit of probable cause. In an unventilated room in the apartment, authorities found the two emaciated Dogo Argentino puppies locked in a metal cage inside a closet, Cole said.

The puppies were treated at the Animal Control Center, Cole said.

Sheppard, of 133 Morris Road, who was not in the apartment at the time the puppies were found, was booked into Parish Prison on a count of aggravated animal cruelty.

DNA evidence said to link man to rape of teen

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 40-year-old man after they said new DNA evidence linked him to the rape of a 15-year-old girl 10 years ago.

The Aug. 17, 2003, rape occurred in her house after Sedrick Hills and the girl attended a church service together, according to the arrest warrant.

In April of this year, the State Police Crime Lab matched Hills’ DNA to a sample taken in 2003, according to the warrant.

Hills, of 13114 Goodwood Blvd., was booked into Parish Prison Wednesday on counts of aggravated sex crimes and forcible rape.

72-year-old accused of arson, battery

Police say a 72-year-old Baton Rouge man stabbed a woman in the arm and then poured gasoline over her head, threatening to set her on fire.

The incident took place at the woman’s house, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Joseph Ruiz, of 3605 Iroquois St.,was booked into Parish Prison Thursday on counts of aggravated arson and second-degree battery.

Facebook photos land BR man in jail

A 21-year-old Baton Rouge man was arrested after he admitted to police he sent sexually explicit photos of himself to various women who were all “suggested friends” on Facebook, at least one of whom was underage, police said.

On May 21, a 15-year-old girl told police that a man she didn’t know sent her pictures of his genitals, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

When police interviewed Troy Harrell Jr. at his North Boulevard home, he admitted he sent pictures, but said he didn’t realize any of them were underage.

Harrell, of 3021 North Boulevard, was booked Wednesday into Parish Prison on a count of computer-aided solicitation of a minor.

18-year-old booked in rape of young girl

Baton Rouge police arrested an 18-year-old man accused of raping a girl, now 12, multiple times since she was 10.

The girl’s sister, now 10, was a witness to at least one of the rapes, according to the arrest warrant.

Harry White, Jr., of 5113 Paige St., Baton Rouge, was booked Wednesday into Parish Prison on a count of aggravated rape.

Fire damages Castlewood Drive home

A pot left on the stove of a Castlewood Drive home on Friday caused an estimated $100,000 in damage as the flames burned the kitchen and parts of the attic, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived at 827 Castlewood Drive at 11:20 a.m. to find the kitchen and attic on fire, said Curt Monte, a Fire Department spokesman. Though firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading further, the home received serious smoke, heat and water damage.

No one was inside the home at the time, Monte said.

Fire may have started from cigarette smoker

A blind man told Baton Rouge firefighters he may have accidentally caused an apartment fire on Friday when he was trying to light a cigarette while sitting on his bed.

Firefighters arriving at 5:12 p.m. at Black Stone Manor Apartments, 4189 Brookstown Drive, contained the fire to the bedroom, and smoke did not spread to any other apartments in the 30-unit building, said Mark Miles, a Fire Department spokesman.

The resident told firefighters he heard a popping noise similar to a burning sound before he got out of the apartment unhurt, Miles said.

The fire caused an estimated $42,500 in damage, Miles said.

Police seek info on credit card thieves

Baton Rouge police released a photo Friday of two individuals suspected of illegally purchasing more than $29,000 worth of items at Lee Michael’s Jewelry at the Mall of Louisiana around 4 p.m. on Aug. 23.

The individuals presented a counterfeit driver’s license and other personal identifying information, along with a credit card of a victim from Florida to purchase the items.

Anyone with information on this incident or having information on the individuals in this photo is urged to contact the Financial Crimes Division at (225) 389-3871 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Authorities book 4 on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least four people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 p.m. Friday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Danielle Boudreaux, 21, 13612 Shady Ridge Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and improper lane use,
  • Brenda Bowers, 50, 728 St. Joseph St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, battery of a police officer and improper lane use.
  • Bradly Hagan, 25, 12102 Houeye Road, Roseland, second-offense DWI, headlights required, improper lane use, driver’s license suspended or revoked, and headlights required.
  • Cai Mailhes, 20, 5955 Lormand Road, Maurice, first-offense DWI and disobeying a red light.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.