Jones counts three homicides

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2004

By LEONARD GRAY-Managing Editor

LAPLACE – The reclassification of two homicide cases during 2003 boosted the total for the year to three cases. Previously, one had been an unclassified death. The second resulted in the victim allegedly succumbing to his injuries received.

From 1990 to 1996, prior to his taking office, St. John Parish had 57 homicide cases. Since Jones first took office in mid-1996, there have been only 30 cases, and only three cases in 2003.

The latest was that of Eugene Maxent, 47, of LaPlace, who was discovered shot dead Oct. 26 in the 200 block of Fir Street, tangled in the bicycle he had been riding.

Other cases, such as that of Michelle Greenup’s newborn child, was not originally classified as a homicide. Greenup, 26, of Reserve, gave birth to her son on Feb. 1 and allegedly placed her newborn son in the trash on Feb. 5, which was transported to the River Birch landfill. The child’s remains were never found.

Detectives combed the River Birch landfill in Jefferson Parish for two weeks, in search of the infant’s remains and using cadaver-sniffing dogs, but were not able to locate the body in the 330-acre tract near Avondale, Capt. Michael Tregre said.

However, since her reported confession, a true bill for second-degree murder was returned by the St. John Parish Grand Jury against her on July 29, and she will face prosecution, according to District Attorney John Crum’s office.

Also, the Gregory Joseph case was reclassified as a homicide following Joseph’s death.

On Aug. 1, at 1047 a.m., Joseph, 45, was found lying face down on East 19th Street in Reserve, with a severe cut to the top of his head, a broken left arm and was going in and out of consciousness, according to the incident report.

Sgt. Darryl Marchand applied a towel to the profusely bleeding cut, until EMTs arrived. Witnesses identified Joseph’s alleged assailant as a 17-year-old, who was arrested later that same day.

Joseph was transported to River Parishes Hospital and later to Charity Hospital, where he died on Oct. 14.

Almost immediately after Joseph’s death, the case was reclassified as a homicide and pursued by the district attorney’s office.

On Dec. 9, the juvenile entered a guilty plea to manslaughter and accepted a life sentence, as per his plea agreement. Assistant District Attorney Kim Ancona prosecuted the case.