Theft pleas follow phone robbery

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LAPLACE — Robbery arrests resulting from a local woman’s assault over the summer ended in plea bargains, resulting in guilty pleas and no future jail time, authorities said.

Durell Fleming

Durell Fleming and Devin Hebert pleaded guilty last month to theft of less than $750. Each was sentenced to six months in parish jail with suspended sentences and given credit for time served.

Devin Hebert

Fleming was facing simple battery, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charges, while Hebert was facing a principal to armed robbery with a firearm charge.

Cases against the defendants began in July when the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office said a 34-year-old victim told deputies she saw an ad on Craigslist to sell a cell phone and made contact with the seller. They agreed to meet on Whitlow Court for the purchase of the cell phone. She arrived at 10:45 p.m. July 23, authorities said, and met two men. One man approached her, pointed a long black gun in her face and “asked for everything.”

A brief struggle ensued between the victim and assailant, authorities said, adding the assailant bit the victim. She surrendered $250, and the two men fled on foot.

The same evening, deputies responded to the LaPlace VFW Hall for a shooting report and conducted an investigative stop of a vehicle leaving the area. Police said they found Fleming, 35, of New Orleans, a passenger, in possession of an AK 47 rifle. Over the course of the investigation, detectives said they identified Fleming and Hebert, 20, of LaPlace as suspects in the armed robbery.