ACA.supremecourt.070419

The drug-related slaying of a Denham Springs man on North Sherwood Forest Drive two years ago was resolved this week when a Baton Rouge man was sent to prison and his co-defendant was put on probation.

The victim, Charles Dakota Arnold, 29, was found suffering from a gunshot wound inside a car on Nov. 16, 2019. He later died at a hospital.

Ronald James Irvin, 53, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty last week to manslaughter. He had been charged with second-degree murder.

Felisha Smith, 40, also of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in July to possession of heroin and accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, and was given a suspended 10-year prison term Wednesday and put on active supervised probation for three years.

State District Judge Tarvald Smith ordered her to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and comply with all recommendations.

Arnold's sister, Miranda Teal, said Thursday in a written statement that the killing of her only brother has had an indescribable impact on her family.

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"I'll never be able to hear `I got you sister' again. My heart holds this empty spot that can never be filled no matter how hard anyone tries," Teal said. "He don't get to watch his nieces learn how to ride a bike or teach them how to box or teach them things that he taught me as a kid.

"But mostly, what I hate is that I'll never get to be an aunt, not to a child that will be an Arnold. I will never get to experience being a favorite aunt like he was my ten year old's favorite uncle. I'll never get to spoil any kids he may have had the way he spoiled mine," she wrote.

Teal acknowledged that the prison time Irvin received "isn't nearly long enough, but I know in my heart that Ronald Irvin can't hurt anyone else for at least 25 years."

Felisha Smith told investigators she had called Arnold several times the night before his death so she could buy drugs. The next day, she said, she and Irvin met Arnold at the North Sherwood Forest location and purchased narcotics from him.

She then left, leaving Irvin sitting in a car with Arnold, along with an undisclosed amount of money and other narcotics, the documents say.

After Arnold was shot, the money and drugs were gone, witnesses told investigators. Police said they believe Irvin stole the valuables from the car before shooting and killing Arnold.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.