Felon’s DNA found at home invasions targeting elderly women _lowres

Vorris Mouton

A convicted felon’s DNA was found at the scenes of four of the five Baton Rouge home invasions in December and January targeting elderly women, including on the wrist of a 73-year-old woman he molested and hit with a piece of luggage, a detective testified Tuesday.

In addition to that Jan. 14 break-in on Woodland Drive, DNA also links Vorris Mouton to home invasions Jan. 17 on Dartmoor Drive, Dec. 29 on Wartelle Drive and Dec. 22 on Reymond Avenue, Baton Rouge Police Detective Eric Kenny said during a hearing in the New Iberia man’s criminal case.

The break-ins targeted mostly elderly women who live alone and had the Capital City on edge for a time.

A cellphone seized from Mouton was traced near the Woodland residence shortly before and shortly after the Jan. 14 incident, Kenny testified.

“It put him in the area at that time,” he said.

Kenny also testified Mouton allegedly wore a mask in all four incidents.

Mouton, 35, has been booked in five home invasions in Baton Rouge, but Kenny said Mouton’s DNA was not found at the scene of the Jan. 12 break in on Roseneath Drive in which he is accused of grabbing a 78-year-old woman’s wrists, pulling her into a bedroom, placing a quilt over her head, and molesting and robbing her before fleeing.

Mouton also is accused of the unauthorized entry of Whitney Bank at Citiplace in November. Kenny testified Mouton was seen unscrewing light bulbs in a women’s rest room at the bank.

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East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Stephen Pugh argued Tuesday that prosecutors established probable cause to hold Mouton over for trial in four of the home invasions and the bank incident, and state District Judge Bonnie Jackson agreed.

Jackson scheduled a Feb. 2 trial date. Mouton will remain at Parish Prison until his trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mouton will face counts of aggravated burglary, sexual battery, aggravated battery, simple kidnapping, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and unauthorized entry.

Authorities initially arrested Mouton on Jan. 20 when DNA testing linked him to the Dec. 22 break-in on Reymond Avenue. An intruder threatened to kill an elderly woman inside the home and demanded she show him to her safe, Kenny testified, noting that Mouton’s DNA was found in the room containing the safe. The intruder didn’t take any money and fled after a brief struggle with the woman.

Shortly after the first arrest, police announced forensic evidence also linked Mouton to the Dartmoor Drive home invasion in mid-January. Mouton is accused of breaking into the home between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and crouching near the 70-year-old victim’s bed when she was startled awake. Mouton grabbed the woman and blindfolded her with a T-shirt before groping her, according to the arrest warrant. He fled with an unknown amount of money.

In the Wartelle Drive incident in late December, Mouton is accused of breaking a window and entering the home. When a 53-year-old woman in the house woke up to investigate, she saw someone wearing a mask. The intruder grabbed a purse and left the house through the broken window, leaving behind some DNA that police matched to Mouton, Kenny said.

Mouton, who was paroled in June 2013, has been in and out of prison the past 17 years. He has convictions for battery of a police officer, illegal possession of burglary tools and criminal trespassing, and most recently was sentenced to six years at hard labor in 2011 for burglary of an inhabited dwelling.