St. John District Attorney convicts 2 in murder cases

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012



LAPLACE – A LaPlace man accused of second-degree murder charges stemming from a 2010 homicide case pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, according to St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney Tom Daley.

Daley also announced that his office secured an attempted murder conviction in an unrelated shooting in 2010 that happened outside an Edgard lounge.

Joseph Noble, 18, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by District Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel for his role in the 2010 murder of 40-year-old Troy Dropthmore. During sentencing, Noble admitted to shooting Dropthmore while the two were arguing outside a LaPlace apartment on Feb. 13, 2010. Noble was arrested Feb. 19 and was cooperative with the investigation.

Through interviews with witnesses, St. John sheriff’s detectives were able to locate the handgun used in Dropthmore’s murder. Authorities would not say where the weapon was found.

The gun was brought to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab in Baton Rouge for an analysis of the gun and bullet casings recovered at the murder scene. The gun tested positive as the one used in the homicide. It was also revealed that the gun was reported stolen in August 2009 in LaPlace.

Daley said a “concerned citizen” provided information to the Sheriff’s Office that was instrumental in solving the crime.

Meanwhile in the Edgard shooting, Johnell Milton, 39, was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting a man outside the Hot Shot Lounge in April 2010.

According to a report from the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called out to the bar, in the 100 bock of Bailey Lane, after reports of a shooting in the parking lot. While en route to the bar deputies were told the victim, a 26-year-old man, was taken to an ambulance facility in Edgard.

The victim was shot once in the chest and once in the left forearm. After speaking with the victim and witnesses, authorities learned that Milton had returned to the bar just before the shooting after having been there earlier in the evening.  

The report from police said Milton approached the victim, who was sitting in the driver seat of his vehicle, and fired shots at the victim. As the victim drove away slowly, the shooter fired more shots toward the vehicle.  

Daley said Milton could be sentenced to between 10 and 50 years in prison without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.  The sentencing date has not been set at this time.