Luling man sentenced 35 years for burglary

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2012



HAHNVILLE – A Westwego man responsible for a rash of burglaries across St. Charles, St. James and other parishes will now serve 35 years in prison for his crimes.

Dwayne Earl Blair, 31, pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and on Wednesday, St. Charles Parish Judge Emile St. Pierre sentenced Blair to 12 years of prison on the first two counts and 11 years on the third and fourth counts.

The 12-year sentence is the maximum amount allowed by law. St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II said all but the last 11-year sentence will run consecutively. St. Pierre also ordered the jail time without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

“I am hopeful that sentences such as this one will convey the clear and stern message to other would-be burglars that they will be held strictly accountable for breaking into the homes of St. Charles Parish residents,” Chaisson said. “We will not tolerate crimes of this nature that jeopardize the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

In April, Blair went on a multi-parish crime spree in which he burglarized multiple homes in the area. Four of the victimized homes were in Luling. Two other burglaries in Gramercy were also linked to Blair.

Authorities said that Blair had spent as many as two years burglarizing homes and turning around and selling the items on the street. They said Blair would cruise neighborhoods during daylight hours waiting for residents to leave their homes. With other accomplices acting as lookouts, he would kick in a side or rear door to gain entrance and then target specific items like large-screen televisions, jewelry, electronics and other items he could sell.

Witnesses in the Luling burglaries reported seeing a silver car parked in front of the homes at the time of the burglaries and authorities were later able to track it to a rental location where Blair had rented the car with his mother as a co-signer.

St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said Blair was identified as a suspect after he used an American Express gift card stolen from one of the Luling homes at a gas station in Metairie.

On April 25, Blair was arrested at a Jefferson Parish Hospital, where he checked himself in for unknown reasons. Authorities also arrested Shalyn Oser, 17, of Marrero, who authorities say acted as one of the lookouts in the Luling burglaries.

Similar charges are pending against Blair in St. Tammany, Jefferson, Washington and Ascension parishes, according to the district attorney’s office. In addition to the jail time, St. Pierre also ordered Blair to write a letter to each of the four Luling-area victims apologizing for the burglaries.

Blair has had previous burglary convictions and has served probation and jail time in those cases. Oser, who cooperated with authorities, was released on bond into the custody of her mother and ordered to obtain her GED.