• 66°

Vehicular burglary charges dropped against LaPlace man

EDGARD — More than 20 charges of vehicular burglary were dismissed against a LaPlace man after another defendant took full responsibility for the crimes, prosecutors said.

“Kevin Staes actually admitted to committing all of the burglaries,” St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney Bridget A. Dinvaut said. “He pled guilty to committing all of the burglaries. We did have a statement where he was saying Corey (Horton) was there but he did not participate in the burglaries. So we did not have any independent evidence corroborating (Horton’s) actual involvement or culpability.”

Corey Horton

According to the Clerk of Court’s Office, the D.A.’s office dismissed the charges against Horton, 22, on Feb. 4 due to a lack of evidence.

Dinvaut said her office was OK with the dismissals because Horton pleaded guilty to firearm possession by a convicted felon, intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and aggravated flight on March 21, 2018, receiving at least two years in jail in the process.

“We were hoping to get some other evidence or somebody else to cooperate,” Dinvaut said. “Mr. Staes, who took responsibility for the burglaries, didn’t want to cooperate.”

As an 18-year-old, Horton was arrested in August 2014 as one of four men believed responsible for almost 40 vehicle burglaries in St. John Parish.

Deputies stopped a car matching the description of a vehicle at 1:30 a.m. during recent vehicle burglaries in LaPlace.

During the stop, police said the driver, identified as Staes of Reserve, admitted he burglarized several vehicles and briefly explained what happened.

During an interview at the time between detectives and Staes, police said Staes implicated Horton and a 16-year-old male from LaPlace in participating in vehicle burglaries that occurred in LaPlace Park Subdivision.

At the time, Staes also implicated Donald Mcelveen Jr. of LaPlace for participating in the vehicle burglaries that occurred in subdivisions off of U.S. 51 and Main Street in LaPlace.

All were arrested.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said crime cameras and residents’ home surveillance video footage was instrumental in tying the four men to the crimes.

All of the cars targeted were unlocked, and in some cases nothing was taken.

In July of 2017, police said Horton led Kenner police on a harrowing chase that included vehicle and foot pursuits, ditched drugs and an unmanned vehicle left heading down the street.

Kenner police said Horton was in possession of 5.7 grams of cocaine and 3 grams of marijuana.

Kenner Police said Officer Alex Decay attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Toyota Corolla at approximately 12:25 a.m.

Horton was driving the vehicle without a license plate along Williams Boulevard.

“Horton refused to stop his vehicle and attempted to evade officers, by entering a residential neighborhood where he began to (bypass) numerous stop signs,” a Kenner Police Department release said.

“As Horton attempted to evade, he momentarily stopped in the 3400 block of Connecticut Avenue, where he abandoned his vehicle, leaving it in drive. The abandoned vehicle proceeded forward and struck a vehicle in the 1700 block of West Esplanade. Kenner Police officers pursued Horton on foot. During the foot chase, Horton discarded a clear plastic bag that contained cocaine.”

Authorities said Horton was captured along Colorado Avenue, where he was taken into custody and found with marijuana.

Officers said they located a .40 caliber handgun in Horton’s vehicle, with four doses of Tramadol a schedule IV CDS.

The handgun was found to be stolen from Mississippi, police said.

According to police, Horton pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor Aug. 14, 2016, marijuana possession Nov. 29, 2016, and possession of cocaine July 6, 2017, which prevents him from owning or possessing a firearm.