Teen OD leads to St. Charles family arrest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles authorities investigating the overdose death of a River Ridge teen have arrested five members of a Destrehan family in connection with the incident, said a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Pat Yoes, public information officer for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, said Michael Rognes, 17, was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Charles Hospital. He said Rognes was transported to the hospital around 10:20 a.m. Sunday by 49-year-old Gary Matherne after the teen was found unresponsive inside Matherne’s home, located at 489 Longview Dr., Destrehan.

According to a Sheriff’s Office release, during a search of Matherne’s home, deputies discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an AK-47 assault rifle. The drugs were found in a common room in the home, while the gun was found in one of the bedrooms. Yoes said since no one claimed possession of the items, all occupants of the home were arrested.

Yoes said Gary Matherne, his wife Lorena Matherne, 51, and a 16-year-old juvenile were booked with possession of marijuana. The juvenile was released into the custody of his grandmother, while Matherne and his wife were transported to the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility. Yoes said both were released after posting $180 cash bonds.

Also arrested in the incident were Kenneth Matherne, 17, and Christopher Matherne, 19. The teens were booked with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance. Yoes said the teens were hit with additional charges because the gun was found in a bedroom they shared. Kenneth Matherne was released on a $35,000 personal surety bond, posted by his grandfather, but Christopher Matherne remains in custody at the correctional facility in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Yoes said detectives are unclear as to what caused Rognes to overdose. He said a toxicology exam is pending.