State X’s out Club Xquisite’s license

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 7, 2009


BATON ROUGE — A state alcohol board moved Wednesday to revoke the liquor license of Club Xquisite after a 17-year-old Kenner boy was shot and killed in the LaPlace nightclub’s parking lot back in June.

The club’s owner pleaded no contest to myriad citations levied by the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, leading ATC Commissioner Murphy J. Painter to rescind the club’s liquor license and fine the owners $2,500.

“The hearing went liked we hoped it would,” said St. John Sheriff Wayne L. Jones. “I have said before that I don’t like to close down any business in the parish, but I will always work to eliminate any establishment that operates like this one did.”

Jones said that over the past six months, Club Xquisite has been a magnet for trouble in the parish, as well as the source of over 68 complaint calls to the St. John Sheriff’s Office. The most recent and most serious incident occurred in the early hours of June 13, when Derrick “Diddy” Danieal Holiman, 17, of Kenner was shot once in the temple while he stood in the club’s parking lot. Holiman died in the hospital two weeks later.

St. John Parish attorney Jeff Perilloux, who represented the Sheriff’s Office during the hearing, said the Sheriff filed a complaint with ATC just days after the shooting.

“Our complaint launched an investigation that uncovered a series of violations by the owners of the club,” Perilloux said. “We found out that the club did not legally meet permit qualifications since the manager of the club, who is also the spouse of the owner, is a convicted felon.”

Perilloux said the club’s owner, Trevon August, set up a “dummy” corporation in her name so that her husband could run the club.

Additional charges stemming from the investigation included improper conduct and allowing patrons under 18 on the premises. Perilloux said the club’s owner told the ATC that she did not wish to contest any of the charges. The club’s owner and attorney were not available for comment.

Club Xquisite’s landlord has terminated the current owner’s lease of the building, and a new tenant is now being sought. It is not clear whether the building, located on Airline Highway, will reopen as another club or bar. Perilloux said the current owners will not get the opportunity to be a part of any new operation.

St. John authorities arrested Rayonchez Stewart, 22, of LaPlace in connection with the fatal shooting of Holiman. Stewart faces a first-degree murder charge as well as an attempted first-degree murder charge for shooting 21-year-old Kristen Evans in the back of the neck. Evans was treated for her injuries and released from the hospital. Both victims were inside the club prior to the shooting, according to police.

Jones said that any other establishment in the St. John area that is prone to problems would be monitored closely by the Sheriff’s Office and other public officials.

“I’m all for economic development, but business in the parish must operate in a proper manner,” he said. “I have to look out for the public’s best interest.”