More charges for SC family

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – A Destrehan couple, who was arrested last month for possession of marijuana after a River Ridge teen overdosed on drugs in their home, has been hit with more charges this week when it was learned that they had prior knowledge of illegal drug activity going in their home, said a spokesman for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Pat Yoes, public information officer for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, said Gary Matherne, 49, and Lorena Matherne, 51, were charged this past Monday with possession of a controlled substance in the presence of a juvenile, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, in connection with the death of 17-year-old Michael Rognes who died of a drug overdose inside their home at 489 Longview Dr.

The Mathernes were originally booked with simple possession of marijuana after a search of their home turned up a small amount of the drug in the common room of the house. Their sons Christopher, 19, and Kenneth, 17, were also arrested in connection with the June 15 incident and charged with possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana after a gun and a larger amount of marijuana were found in a bedroom the boys share. Yoes said further investigation into the incident brought forth the new charges for the parents.

Yoes explained that recorded telephone conversations between Christopher Matherne and his parents while he was still incarcerated at the Nelson Coleman correctional facility further implicated Gary and Lorena Matherne.

“Multiple calls were placed between the family members,” said Yoes. “Our investigation revealed that based on the conversations, the parents knew what was going on inside the home. They were aware of the presence of drugs in their home, where their 16-year-old daughter also lives.”

Yoes said all phone conversations within the confines of the jail are monitored and recorded. He said there are signs posted near every phone in the building that clearly expresses that fact.

Yoes said the Mathernes have been released on their own recognizance by Judge Kirk Granier.