Norco teen sentenced to 40 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2011



LAPLACE – A Norco teenager who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August in connection with the death of 78-year-old Norco resident Mary Nancy Arico last year was sentenced to 40 years in prison this week.

District Court Judge Robert Chaisson handed down his sentence for Daniel Deese, 16, Wednesday in Hahnville. Deese’s family, including his sister Pauline Deese, who was also sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence with three years of active probation for her role in Arico’s killing, were present in the court along with some of Arico’s family.

Upon sentencing, Daniel Deese apologized to Arico’s family as well as his own. Deese said in court that he took full responsibility for his actions.

Daniel and Pauline Deese, along with 16-year-old Braiden Sumrall and a 14-year-old girl, were arrested in late November after Arico’s body was discovered on the floor of her home in the 100 block of Mary Street. Investigators say Arico may have been killed about three weeks before the body was found. The teens were arrested a few days after the body was found after receiving a series of tips from the public.

According to court documents, St. Charles Parish investigators believe the two boys and the 14-year-old girl went to Arico’s home in Norco looking for money to help the girl run away from home. Daniel Deese allegedly attacked Arico with several kitchen knives then hit her in the head with a microwave. She was stabbed several times and received blunt force trauma to the head, according to authorities.

Court documents also say Pauline Deese was told of the murder by her brother but later lied to investigators when questioned about the incident. Authorities said Pauline Deese also burned several articles of clothing and a knife allegedly used in the crime. The burned items were found at an abandoned house near the Desse’s home.

Daniel Deese and Sumrall were initially indicted in December as adults on first-degree murder charges, but the case was shifted back to juvenile court earlier this year pending results of a sanity hearing.

Daniel Deese was again indicted in adult court in March.

Pauline Deese was indicted on her charges in April and pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to manslaughter in August. As part of her sentence, Deese was ordered to participate in a drug treatment program as a result of an arrest this summer for distribution of Xanax and possession of heroin. The charges stemming from that arrest were dropped as part of the plea deal, but Chaisson explicitly warned her that if she were arrested again for any charge she would end up in jail.

Sumrall’s case, as well as the case against the 14-year-old girl, who was booked with principal to first-degree murder, will be handled in juvenile court.