Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Clerk wounded in Bogalusa robbery dies, 3 booked with murder

Clerk wounded in Bogalusa robbery dies, 3 booked with murder
Posted: Jan 4, 2019
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0
From the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office

Three fugitives fled Louisiana after a late December murder and armed robbery in Bogalusa. Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives were able to quickly identify the suspects as they fled Washington Parish to Pearl River County, Mississippi, and then to Montgomery County, Alabama. A nationwide alert was issued for their capture.

An alert deputy with the Montgomery County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office spotted the suspects’ vehicle on Interstate 65 south of the City of Montgomery and gave chase. After a brief chase, the three suspects were eventually captured and transported to the Montgomery County Jail for safekeeping. Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives traveled to Montgomery and interviewed the three suspects identified as Lance Hunter Rouse, 24, a resident of Picayune, Mississippi, Levi Austin Lee, 17, a resident of Carriere, Mississippi, and Melissa Michelle Smith, 29, a resident of Tylertown, Mississippi. The three suspects voluntarily waived extradition to Louisiana.

On January 4, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives and deputies traveled to Montgomery to transport the three suspects to the Washington Parish Jail in Franklinton. The contingent is expected to arrive at the jail late Friday afternoon.

Each of the suspects is charged with 1st Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. They will face a bond hearing early next week and then will be held in the jail. Due to the very serious nature of the charges, it is anticipated the three will receive high bond amounts and will remain in the jail until trial.

“As I said previously, our detectives did an outstanding job solving this case quickly, seeing the suspects captured within hours,” stated Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal. “I am so grateful for all our officers did and thankful for the excellent help we received from other law enforcement agencies in the capture and return of the fugitives to Washington Parish. Sheriffs David Allison of Pearl River County, Mississippi, Kyle Breland of Walthall County, Mississippi, Derrick Cunningham of Montgomery County, Alabama, and Sam Cochran of Mobile County, Alabama, along with their respective staffs, went above and beyond the call of duty to assist us. This is yet another example of the excellent law enforcement partnerships we have with other Sheriff’s Offices. They always stand ready to assist us just as we always stand ready to assist them.”