Archive for December, 2009

Dec. 9, 2009 noon – KYKZ

Dec. 9, 2009 noon broadcast
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December 9, 2009 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

Houston crash kills Jennings woman, son

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A Jennings woman and her infant son were killed in a Friday morning traffic accident in Houston in which their car was rear-ended by an allegedly drunken driver.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Jeznee Robinson, 22, and her son, Brielle LeDee, were the victims of the crash that occurred at around 6:30 a.m. in north Houston.

Brandon Revelle Caines, 24, of Houston has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter in connection with the accident.

Robinson was reportedly stopped at a red light when Caines approached too quickly and lost control, according to khou.com. Caines sideswiped one vehicle and smashed into the back of Robinson’s vehicle, causing it to roll several times and hit a utility pole.

Investigators said Caines had stolen the vehicle.

link: http://bit.ly/b3feYM

December 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

Men join stand against violence

*published Dec. 4, 2009


BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS
The Calcasieu Women’s Shelter and community officials on Monday made “A Call to Men” to stand up and speak out against domestic abuse.

Mayor Randy Roach, a member of a panel that included law enforcement officials, said men should speak out to those they suspect are abusers and those who make negative comments about their spouses.

He cited as an example a group of men in Gloucester, Mass., who pass out information on abuse to anyone willing to talk to them. They also make a point to speak out at work, he said.

“When I began working on how to improve children’s welfare, I got drawn into this,” Roach said. “It’s not just about education and health care. It’s about creating a stable situation for the parents so they provide the proper foundation. That takes the whole community.”

Avery (his name has been changed), 48, is a former abuser. He talked about the generational cycle he found himself in.

“I remember my father would beat my mother after accusing her of all kinds of things because he was jealous,” he said. “I always said I hated my mother’s bruises. But as soon as I became an adult, I was the accuser and trying to control everything. I was verbally abusive and just got worse.”

Avery talked about having a successful career and being active in the community, but being a completely different person at home.

“No one knew what was going on in my home,” he said. “I didn’t realize I needed help until she left and no apologies or flowers could get her back this time.”

Avery said that after he started seeing a psychiatrist he finally understood that there was a cycle he needed to break.

“Every man, my father and grandfather, how did we tell these women we loved them, and then turn around and punch and kick them,” he said. “I really had to understand that ‘No, that’s not just our personality.’ ”

Since getting help years ago, Avery said, he doesn’t keep in touch with some of his brothers because they are abusers who refuse to get help.

An especially low point for him, he said, was when his adult daughter ended up in an abusive relationship.

“It showed me that everything I did to my ex-girlfriend, our daughter saw,” he said.

Calcasieu Parish Detective Gerald Thomas talked about always making sure his fellow deputies understand that they have to be there for the victim, but that is only a small part of the equation.

“We can arrest half of the parish and we haven’t really done anything if the person does not acknowledge the problem,” he said.

Thomas said one of the biggest barriers is that the victim feels stuck.

“They think they deserved the abuse or beating or they can’t afford to live on their own, which is why the domestic abuse task force is so good. We bring everything together.”

The task force consists of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, legal advocates and the Calcasieu Women’s Shelter. Since Jan. 1, Thomas said, law enforcement agencies in Calcasieu Parish have handled 2,600 domestic abuse calls.

Calcasieu Assistant District Attorney Brent Hawkins said there needs to be a shift in focus.

“Too many times people ask, ‘Why is she with him? Why does she stay?’ when we need to be asking, ‘Why is he doing this?’ ” he said. “We have to support the victim.”

Hawkins said that in more than half of his cases, there is abuse in the victim’s and abuser’s family histories.

“My job is accountability and justice,” Hawkins said. “And part of that includes improving the victim’s quality of life.”

link: http://bit.ly/7uLD2Y

December 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

AIDS Council hosts open house

*published Dec. 2, 2009

Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council case manager Candice Pauley shows Andie Hoeflicker some of the literature available at the agency during their open house in observation of World AIDS Day on Tuesday. BY KAREN E. WINK

Looks to spread word about services
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS
In the five-parish area this year, 1,180 new cases of HIV/ AIDS have been reported, according to statistics compiled by the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

For World AIDS Day on Tuesday the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council, at 1715 Common St., hosted an open house to let area residents “know we are here and the services we offer,” said program director Kelli Barnes.

Barnes said some people still believe HIV/AIDS is a gay disease or only prevalent in Africa.

DHH’s quarterly survey says that as of last September, 430 people have died of AIDS in the Region 5 area and 903 people are living with HIV or AIDS.

Region 5 consists of Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes.

Of those living with HIV/AIDS, 58 percent are black, 32 percent are white, and the remaining 10 percent are Hispanic, Indian or Asian. Twenty-two percent are female, and 77 percent are male.

“I always tell people, ‘HIV doesn’t play,’ ” said Gilbert Brown, a prevention outreach counselor with SLAC. “It doesn’t care about your sex or race or age.”

Brown has been working with SLAC full time since April, but started volunteering as a student at McNeese. When people come in for testing, he lets them know that the test is anonymous.

“We are held to the same oaths as a doctor. I go so far as to lock the door (in my office) when we are talking,” Brown said.

“I have to ask them questions about their sexual behavior, so their honest answers is what we use to create a risk prevention plan.”

The AIDS council uses a mouth swab test that takes about 20 minutes. If a person is negative, Brown and the client then develop a prevention plan. If a person tests positive in the initial visit, Brown performs a second test, which is sent to the state lab for analysis.

“Results take about a week, and we always call the person in, regardless of the results,” Brown said.

In discussing prevention methods, Brown said there are adults who don’t know about female condoms or how to properly use them.

Do you know the first step when using a male condom? Always check the expiration date, Brown said.

SLAC has case managers who specialize in different areas for clients, such as finding out what services are available under patients’ health plans. The council’s phone number is 439-5861.

link: http://bit.ly/4qtunx

December 2, 2009 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

Time of essence in case

*published Dec. 1, 2009


Immigration issue clouds outlook in slaying of teen
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS
Setbacks at every step have slowed the investigation into the death of Moss Bluff woman Sierra Bouzigard, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Monday.

“It took us 12 hours to identify the body,” he said. “That was 12 hours where we didn’t have a direction to go, didn’t know who to speak to first.”

The body of Bouzigard, 19, was found at 7:40 a.m. Nov. 23 on the side of John Koonce Road in Moss Bluff. Parish Coroner Dr. Terry Welke has ruled that she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Since last Monday, Mancuso said detectives have talked to 22 people who may have known or had contact with Bouzigard.

“It appears she made several visits to different people in the Moss Bluff area on Sunday,” Mancuso said.

He said much of the case hinges on crime lab results and phone records from several of the people investigators have interviewed.

“The phone companies have told us that they can get us the records within 14 days,” Mancuso said. “We want the records to corroborate some stories and hopefully figure out where she was last.”

He would not discuss the possibility that another area had been checked for evidence.

“Because we’re dealing with the real world, we need people to understand that it will take time to get results back from our crime lab,” Mancuso said.

On average, results can take from two weeks to 30 days to process because of certain procedures and the requirement that the results be verified by multiple forensic specialists.

Of the people interviewed in the case, 16 were illegal immigrants.

Calcasieu Correctional Center book-in records show they were arrested on Nov. 25 and lived in two apartments on Sistrick Road, off Sam Houston Jones Parkway.

Detectives said two Sheriff’s Office interpreters worked around the clock, with a federal interpreter, to handle the interviews.

Because detectives had filed no local charges, the immigrants were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and are now at a federal detention center in Basile.

They are charged with entry without inspection — a federal misdemeanor.

Mancuso said their immigration status is an issue because the Sheriff’s Office does not have jurisdiction over illegal immigrants.

Deportation proceedings have begun, and processing will reportedly take about a month.

“I can’t promise we will have enough by then,” Mancuso said.

If one of the deported immigrants becomes a suspect, Mancuso said his department would have to issue an arrest warrant.

“It is a problems for us,” he said. “He would have to be located there, and then we would need that country’s government to cooperate.”

He noted that a rape-homicide case remains open because of a similar situation.

On Feb. 19, 2008, the body of Wanda Barton, 26, was found in her mobile home.

Deputies listed 20-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara as a person of interest and said they believed he fled to Dallas and then back to his hometown of Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

In April 2008, a grand jury indicted Garcia Guevara on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary. He is still at large.

Mancuso would not say how Bouzigard was connected with any of the people detectives interviewed.

He said there are no suspects at this time, only persons of interest, and that no charges have been filed in the case.

“We still have a long ways to go in this investigation,” Mancuso said.

link: http://bit.ly/6czQWm

December 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment