Probation sentence follows LaPlace arson arrest
Published 12:11 am Saturday, April 14, 2018
LAPLACE — A domestic dispute last summer that included a can of gasoline, an arson arrest, five children and the fire department ended in probation for a LaPlace man, authorities said.
During plea agreements reached March 19 in front of Judge E. Jeffrey Perilloux, 41-year-old Demond Jerome Sampson pleaded guilty to simple criminal damage to property less than $1,000 and violation of a protective order.
According to the St. John the Baptist Parish Clerk of Court, Sampson was sentenced to six months in parish jail suspended with 12 months of active probation on each count.
The defendant was also ordered to pay $1,719.50 in fines and fees.
According to the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sampson entered his ex-girlfriend’s backyard on English Colony Drive July 7 with a gasoline can and poured gas on the east corner of the home, igniting a fire at approximately 11 a.m.
Responding patrol deputies and firefighters observed a light haze emitting from the home, which firefighters extinguished quickly.
No injuries were reported, but police said five children — ages 1, 10, 12, 13 and 15 — were inside the residence when it caught fire.
Deputies made contact with Sampson at an Essex Drive home shortly after the fire and arrested him, leading to an arson charge.
District Attorney Bridget Dinvaut said the victim and Sampson each had protective orders against each other prior to the July altercation.
“There was some conflicting information that did not help us with the prosecution of the arson case,” Dinvaut said.
“The victim absolutely was consulted. She cooperated and indicated she was only interested in the stay-away order for her and her kids.”