Brother stabs brother to ‘drive out demons’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Managing Editor

LAPLACE — Saying he was &#8220driving out the demons,” Jermaine Diggs, 21, of LaPlace, fatally stabbed his sleeping 19-year-old brother as he slept Friday on the living room sofa.

Jermaine was booked with second-degree murder after the death of Rayshawn Diggs, who was pronounced dead at 10:54 a.m., following the stabbing itself soon after 9 a.m. in the LaPlace Oaks housing development.

Maj. Michael Tregre, spokesman for the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, reported that Jermaine had been sleeping on another sofa in the living room, got up, and with a six-inch kitchen knife, approached his sleeping little brother and stabbed him once in the right side of his ribcage.

Their mother Loyce Morgan, was in the back of the apartment unit when Rayshawn asked her for help, saying he &#8220wanted to get the demons out of him.” A sister dashed to the housing development office to call police at 9:12 a.m.

Minutes later, detectives arrived and took Jermaine into custody without incident. The knife was recovered, found on the living room table. Rayshawn was transported immediately to River Parishes Hospital, but the wound proved to be fatal.

Tregre said the case seemed to be &#8220something mental,” as no cause for the incident could be immediately determined, and there had been no argument between the brothers. The family had only been living in the housing development during the past few months, relocated from Lutcher.

Jermaine is being held without bond at the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility.