Destrehan man defends home, shoots intruder

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005


Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN — A Destrehan man allegedly trying to break into a home to possibly burglarize it was shot dead by the resident of the home last Friday afternoon.

According to a report released by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Nikita Dabney, 20, of 315 River Oaks Drive was shot while inside a residence in the 300 Block of Meadows Drive in Destrehan, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other suspects were also arrested Friday in connection with the burglary. Samuel Vinnett, 19, of 218 Meadows Drive and a 16-year-old male juvenile were both booked with simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, and manslaughter.

Vinnett was additionally booked with conspiracy to commit burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Maj. Sam Zinna, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Dabney placed a ladder in the backyard of the residence, and used it to climb to the second floor bedroom window.

Zinna said the occupant was home, heard something and armed himself. When he spotted Dabney inside the residence, the man fired several shots at Dabney, who then jumped out of the window he entered through.

Zinna said Dabney was shot in the right side of his body, and collapsed in the back yard, where he died. The other two suspects were not on the scene when authorities arrived.

“They had run off,” Zinna said, “but based on the information we obtained we determined they were participants in the crime.”

Zinna said the sheriff’s office is considering the case justifiable homicide, and said the shooter produced the registration for the gun he used, a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, at the scene.

According to Zinna, anytime there is a case of justifiable homicide, those involved in the felony makes them somewhat responsible for the death.

Vinnett and the minor stayed in the backyard as Dabney entered the residence, and Zinna said the sheriff’s office believe the burglary was planned and targeted for that particular residence.

The minor remains in the St. James Youth Detention Center in Vacherie, while Vinnett remains in the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in lieu of a $150,000 bond.