33-year sentence follows work dispute killing of Reserve man

Published 12:14 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

EDGARD — A St. John the Baptist Parish man was sentenced to more than three decades in jail following the shooting death of Reserve resident Frank Lewis on June 17, 2011.

Judge J. Sterling Snowdy sentenced Dermaine Norman, 43, to 33 years at hard labor with credit for time served during court proceedings Oct. 19. Norman’s sentence does not include the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, according to the St. John Parish Clerk of Court’s office.

Norman’s sentence comes approximately a year after a 12-person local jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit second degree murder.

Authorities and court records indicate Lewis was leaving for work in the morning when he was shot multiple times in front of his home in the 100 block of East 14th Street.

St. John Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Carlton Brown and Kentrell Bailey two months later, booking Bailey with second-degree murder and Brown with principal to second-degree murder.

Norman was arrested shortly thereafter and booked with principal to second-degree murder. According to authorities, the killing resulted from a falling out between Lewis and Norman, friends who worked together in a concrete business. Norman believed Lewis had caused him to lose his job after he suffered a gunshot wound in May 2011, court records show.

Bailey, Norman’s cousin, learned of the dispute and acted as the gunman. Brown was the driver of a getaway vehicle.

Brown pleaded guilty in February of 2012 to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, agreeing to serve a five-year sentence. The plea deal meant Brown agreed to testify if called as a witness during the trials of the others arrested.

Bailey also entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors after being identified as the shooter, receiving a five-year sentence, and was released from custody based upon the length of time he had already served.

Bailey was murdered approximately a week after being released from jail, authorities said.

Prosecutors said the time that elapsed from the killing’s date, unforeseen turns with witnesses and a convoluted case path — including three appellate court and two state supreme court rulings — made Norman’s prosecution difficult.