Grand Jury hands down murder indictments

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 18, 2002


HAHNVILLE – David Lynn Joseph, 22, of Minden, was indicted Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder by the St. Charles Parish Grand Jury, after he allegedly beat and choked 18-month-old Derica Wallace to death Feb. 21 while babysitting her.

Also on Thursday, the Grand Jury indicted Brandon Stein, 18, of Reserve; Calvin Couvillion, 21, of Paradis; and Timothy Prudhomme, 16, of LaPlace, on charges of second-degree murder in the Feb. 12 slaying of James Rogers, 17, of LaPlace.

Joseph is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge March 21 before 29th Judicial District Judge Emile St. Pierre and prosecuting Joseph will be Juan Byrd, David Chaisson and Howie Peters. His court-appointed defense attorney is Victor Bradley Jr. of Norco.

Judge Robert Chaisson will arraign the trio in the Rogers case on April 3. Prosecuting will be Howie Peters and Juan Byrd of the District Attorney’s office.

Derica Wallace was taken off life support systems at Children’s Hospital on Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. Joseph surrendered to authorities around the same time.

Joseph, the boyfriend of Jessika Wallace, 20, the child’s mother, had been left in charge of Derica and her two siblings, 6-month-old Tenisha and 3-year-old Derrick, while Wallace went to work in Boutte.

Rogers, 17, the son of LaPlace veterinarian Dr. Wayne Rogers, was reported missing by his father when the victim failed to return home Mardi Gras night.

The East St. John High School student left his residence at 8 p.m. on Mardi Gras to visit a neighbor, driving his pickup truck. His father’s later inquiries turned up two other males, who his son reportedly dropped off at the “Old Time Saver” on Carrollwood Drive at 12:53 a.m.

Instead, by that time, Rogers had already been beaten, choked and tossed off Interstate 310 after a visit to a party near Paradis.