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DNA from Lutcher burglary leads to plea, jail sentence

  CONVENT — DNA and crime lab analysis cracked a Lutcher burglary case, leading to a plea bargain and seven-year jail sentence, prosecutors said.

Kenneth Camel, 46, pleaded guilty to simple burglary on Tuesday, and Judge Thomas Kliebert sentenced the Lutcher man to seven years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.

St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lutcher Police Department officers responded to a silent alarm at a local residence Jan. 9, 2018, observing a broken window in the front of the residence.

Homeowners arrived shortly after and produced surveillance video footage, showing a man entering through the broken window. Once inside, he used a crow bar to pry open a wooden cabinet when the alarm went off.

The burglar attempted to disarm the alarm before exiting through the window and fleeing.

Detectives swabbed several areas inside of the residence for DNA and submitted it to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

Detectives were notified May 16 that a DNA profile was obtained matching Camel’s profile.

Police secured a DNA sample from Camel, submitted it to the Crime Lab, which confirmed it was identical to the DNA sample taken from the house.

Camel was subsequently arrested and booked into the St. James Parish Detention Center.

District Attorney Ricky L. Babin’s office prosecuted the case, led by Assistant District Attorney Adam Koenig. This week’s guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors.