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Lawrence Watkins

NAPOLEONVILLE — Assumption Parish sheriff's deputies recently caught up with and arrested the last of two New Orleans men wanted in an attempted armed robbery nearly five years ago in a quiet part of the rural parish.

Lawrence Watkins, 43, 1237 Pace Blvd., New Orleans, has been arrested on counts of attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon more than two years after his co-defendant had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same 2014 incident, deputies said in a statement Thursday.

Assumption Sheriff Leland Falcon said Watkins and another man tried rob a man near an Assumption home off La. 308 outside Napoleonville on Sept. 25, 2014. A struggle ensued and one of the robbers fired his gun with a toddler nearby, sheriff's deputies said in the statement.

No one was injured in the fracas and shooting but the assailants ran away.

It turns out the two suspects lived blocks from each other in New Orleans' west bank neighborhood of Algiers.

Assumption deputies caught up with the first of the men, Troy L. Canelo, 46, 1617 Pace Blvd., New Orleans, four months later, arresting him on counts of attempted armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and aggravated assault with a firearm.

Canelo pleaded guilty to an attempted armed robbery count in February 2017 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Deputies had earlier arrested Watkins on a count of illegally entering a home in the same area about the time of the September 2014 shooting but weren't able to get a warrant for his arrest in the attempted robbery until April 2016.

Watkins, whom deputies arrested Sunday, remained Thursday in Assumption Parish Detention Center in Napoleonville in lieu of $110,000 bail.

Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

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