Three booked in fatal Kenner stabbing
Kenner police arrested three people in the Monday night stabbing death of Kenneth Tassin III, booking one of them on second-degree murder.
Authorities say Tassin’s former girlfriend, Jonnisha Allen, 22, of Kenner, went to his apartment in the 2800 block of Richland Street along with Ravon Miller, 29, of Kenner, and Miller’s girlfriend, Johneka Woods, 22, of Metairie.
Allen allegedly slashed the tires and scratched the vehicle belonging to Tassin’s new girlfriend. Tassin and his girlfriend came outside and began arguing with Allen, leading to a fight.
Miller stabbed Tassin five times, said Lt. Brian McGregor, a Kenner Police Department spokesman. Miller, Allen and Woods then drove off in a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban.
Miller gave Woods the knife and told her to hide it, authorities said. Kenner police said they later stopped the SUV in the 2800 block of Loyola Drive and found the knife under one of the seats.
Miller was booked on a count of second-degree murder. Woods and Allen were booked as principals to second-degree murder.
Judge: Reward stands in fatal shooting
A $250,000 award to the son of a 60-year-old St. John the Baptist Parish woman who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy will stand after a federal magistrate judge last week denied a defense request for a new trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Wilkinson Jr. issued his ruling March 18.
A two-day jury trial last month found that Barbara Jean Lassere, of LaPlace, was 50 percent at fault after allegedly refusing to cooperate during a 2013 traffic stop that preceded the incident. A 2013 civil rights complaint filed by her son, Norvel, claimed she was shot “without provocation, justification or probable cause.”
The jury recommended awarding $500,000 in compensatory damages. Wilkinson cut the amount in half.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre sought a new trial on the issue of damages, saying the size of the award was “excessive and unsupported by the evidence presented,” but Wilkinson denied the request.
N.O. East nonprofit’s head accused of theft
The former head of a nonprofit educational program based in New Orleans East has been charged in federal court with stealing more than $140,000 in grant money.
Kim Cassell, 52, served as executive director of Open World Family Services, a now-defunct outreach program intended to help area students grow academically. She is accused of using federal grant dollars for her personal benefit rather than the grant money’s intended purposes, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office.
The charge stemmed from a state legislative audit that found Cassell had used several thousand dollars in public funds for her personal benefit. The audit also determined the nonprofit had improperly received more than $129,000 from the state after submitting falsified requests for reimbursement, and that Cassell had apparently violated state ethics law by hiring her brother.
Open World dissolved in 2012. Cassell faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Two men arrested in meth lab bust
Two Covington men were arrested after St. Tammany Parish authorities found a methamphetamine lab at a Covington-area house last week.
Matthew Perry, 36, and Roy Bell, 35, were booked on one count each of manufacturing a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance.
A task force made up of members of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Mandeville, Covington and Slidell police departments began investigating in January in response to complaints that Bell and Perry had been making meth at Perry’s home in the Lee Road community.
Task force members said they saw the two men buying ingredients needed to make the drug last week and followed them to the house, where the pair were found in possession of the ingredients and small amounts of meth.
While searching the home, agents found 16 one-pot meth labs, 200 pounds of fertilizer, 12 containers of Coleman fuel, 11 empty boxes of pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner and coffee filters.
Texted crime tips lead to man’s arrest
About 1:20 a.m. Monday, the Kenner Police Department began receiving text messages to its 911 system reporting that someone had jumped a fence at the Wholesale Auto Group, 1401 Veterans Blvd.
Officers sent to the scene found Timothy Wheeler, 23, of Kenner, who tried to flee but was apprehended.
Officers said Wheeler had tried to force entry into the business but failed. He also entered a vehicle on the lot and left a tote bag containing disposable gloves, trash bags, a flashlight and tape.
He was arrested and booked on counts of attempted simple burglary (business), simple burglary (vehicle) and illegal carrying of burglar tools.
Kenner police said Wheeler also was linked to a burglary that occurred earlier at the Premier Kia auto dealership, 2712 Veterans Blvd., in Kenner, for which he was booked on another count of simple burglary. In this burglary, police said, Wheeler entered a business trailer through the window, kicked a door open and stole money.