Two Jefferson Parish men were convicted in separate Metairie armed robbery trials in state district court Tuesday, one of whom held up a woman in her daughter’s driveway and another who kidnapped a woman feeding feral cats.
A jury found Bobby Johnson, 45, of Metairie, guilty of first-degree robbery and simple kidnapping a woman who was feeding feral cats near Airline and David drives on Nov. 18, 2016, according to Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s Office.
The victim, now 64, parked her sports-utility vehicle behind businesses and was leaning over the back seat to fill bowls with cat food when Johnson approached and demanded cash, she testified. “He put a gun to the side of my face,” she testified. “He kept saying ‘Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me.’”
She had no cash so she offered him her ATM card in hopes he’d leave, Connick’s office said.
Instead, he bound her hands with a black cloth belt, forced her into her SUV and drove her to two nearby banks, though they were unsuccessful at withdrawing cash. He then drove her to the Walmart in Kenner in attempt to get cash back on a small purchase and the woman fled into the store and got help.
Johnson fled but was arrested. The pistol was never recovered, and jurors acquitted Johnson of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Connick’s office said.
Johnson claimed at trial that the woman had approached him to buy crack and was unable to drive after they smoked a sample, though the woman and her husband testified that she has never used illegal narcotics.
The jury deliberated about 90 minutes. Judge Scott Schlegel of the 24th Judicial District Court set sentencing for May 23.
Assistant District Attorneys Zachary Popovich and Tucker Wimberly prosecuted the case.
In the other case, a jury found Aaron Harrell guilty of robbing a woman at gunpoint as she stood in her daughter’s driveway one morning last year.
Harrell, 40, of Jefferson, was found guilty as charged of armed robbery and of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Connick’s office said.
Harrell robbed the woman of her diamond wedding ring, ear rings and a wrist watch to obtain money with which he could feed his heroin addiction. The victim encountered Harrell weeks later and recognized him.
Harrell’s attorneys argued that the victim misidentified their client, but jurors rejected that defense after two hours of deliberation. Judge Michael Mentz is scheduled to sentence Harrell on May 29.
Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Richard Olivier prosecuted the case.