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News for the week of Dec. 16, 2013

Funeral for soldier, MIA for 63 years, held in Leesville

LEESVILLE -- Army Pfc. Jerry Craig, a Korean War veteran who went missing in action in December 1950, was buried Thursday in the CENLA Veterans Cemetery in Leesville.

Craig was given a hero's welcome by law enforcement, fellow veterans and dignitaries across the region on Tuesday as his remains were solemnly transported from George Bush International Airport in Houston to Labby Memorial Funeral Home in Leesville.

He was buried Thursday with full military honors. Local dignitaries, veterans groups and individuals attended.

Craig was only 17 when he went missing in combat. His remains were returned and remained in a vault in Hawaii until they were recently identified.

When informed of the discovery, his next of kin, a niece who lives in Lake Charles and was only seven when he went missing, requested that he be laid to rest in the CENLA Veterans Cemetery.

You can also view a photo gallery of Thursday's funeral HERE.

BPSO makes arrests in theft cases

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- A 37-year-old Rosepine man was booked Wednesday on burglary and theft.

Jeremy Deason is accused of breaking into a home and taking money and weapons.

According to Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Joe Toler, Deason was booked on aggravated burglary, theft of a firearm and felony theft.

Bond was set at $110,000.

And in a separate case, a DeRidder man is accused of stealing an ATV.

Michael Hoskey, 38, was booked Wednesday on felony theft following an investigation.

Hoskey was jailed on $50,000 bond.


Miniature Christmas village on display in Leesville

LEESVILLE -- Until Jan. 1, 143 Powell Drive in Leesville is home to a miniature Christmas village that delights all ages.

Ralph Dace and Linda Canoy have been collecting miniatures for years.

The collection is viewable from outside the home.

Visitors are invited to walk up and enjoy the village any evening from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

You can find more HERE.

BPSO reports several arrests

DERIDDER -- The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office has reported the following arrests:

John Pharris, 34, of DeQuincy. Pharris was arrested Wednesday. He was booked on unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling, stalking and criminal trespassing  following an investigation into a report that someone had entered a residence without permission of the owner. Pharris was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $1,100.
 
Floyd Bullitt, 34, of Merryville. Bullitt was arrested Wednesday. He was booked on two counts of domestic abuse battery. He was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $5,000.
 
Thomas Latham, 40, of Merryville, was arrested Wednesday. Latham was booked on unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling following an investigation into a report that someone had entered a residence without  permission. Latham was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $15,000.

Jonathan LeBlanc, 30, of Lake Charles, was arrested Sunday. LeBlanc was booked on DWI second offense following a traffic stop for improper lane usage. LeBlanc was processed into the parish jail. A $1,500  cash bond was set.    
 
Matthew Stevenson, 17, of DeQuincy, was arrested Tuesday. He was booked on charges of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, theft and criminal conspiracy following  an investigation into a theft at a home in July. Stevenson was  processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at  $80,000.
 
Dakota Yarbrough, 20, of Fort Polk, was arrested Wednesday. Yarbrough was booked on a charge of simple burglary and theft following an investigation into a report that someone had taken money and other items from a vehicle parked at a residence. Yarbrough was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $25,000.
 
Demarkquarius Watts, 17, of DeRidder, was arrested Wednesday. Watts was booked on charges of simple burglary, theft and theft of a firearm following an investigation into a report that someone had taken a safe containing money and a .22 caliber revolver from a residence in DeRidder. Watts was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $31,000.
 
Joshua Deans, 22, of DeRidder, was arrested Wednesday. Deans was booked on felony theft. He was processed into the parish jail. Bond was set at $85,000.

DeRidder family continues light show tradition

DERIDDER -- The Mlynarski family, of DeRidder, has continued their annual Christmas light show at their home.

This year's light show is around 30 minutes long.

Some new songs have been added, including a military tribute.

There are over 50,000 LED lights.

Donations are accepted and will be given to area charities to purchase Christmas gifts or food items for needy families.

The light show is located on Maul Road off La. 27 in DeRidder.

The show runs Sunday through Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

You can find more HERE.
ELONA WESTON

Appeals court affirms Sizemore convictions, sentences
BY ELONA WESTON

LAKE CHARLES -- The second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder convictions and sentences of Justin Robert Sizemore have been affirmed by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals decision was made public on Wednesday.

Sizemore was found guilty in the 2010 murder of Christopher Hoffpauir, whose body was found on June 14, 2010 near Garwood Busby Road in Vernon Parish.

Also accused in the case was Kristyn Hoffpauir, Christopher Hoffpauir's estranged wife.

Sizemore was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence on the second-degree murder conviction.

For the conspiracy conviction, he was sentenced to 25 years at hard labor to be served consecutively to any other sentence.

Sizemore appealed the district court decision, asserting that there was insufficient evidence in the case and errors in the process. He also asserted that his constitutional rights were denied, among other claims.

The appeals court disagreed with the arguments.

The court was composed of judges Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Marc T. Amy and J. David Painter.

The decision was unanimous.

You can read the full ruling HERE.

Chamber announces winners of 2013 Christmas Parade

LEESVILLE -- The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2013 Vernon Parish Christmas Parade, held Saturday in downtown Leesville. They are: Automobiles: Batman; Marching Bands/Drill Teams: Leesville Junior High danceline; School/Clubs: Leesville Junior High Student Council; Commercial: Woodlands; Marching Bands: Leesville High School Wampus Cats; Churches: Oak Forest Baptist Church; and Civic Groups/Non-Profits: the Gonzalez family. You can view a photo album of the parade HERE.
Anacoco coach booked on prohibited sexual conduct between educator and student
BY RYAN KEETON

ANACOCO -- An Anacoco basketball coach has been arrested and booked on one count of prohibited sexual contact between an educator and student.

According to the Vernon Parish Sheriffs Office, 28-year-old Kevin Jeane was arrested Monday after an investigation that began late last week into an allegation of sexual contact with a female student.

According to Vernon Parish Superintendent Jackie Self, Jeane resigned Monday from his post as head boys' basketball coach. Self said an interim coach has been named.

Jeane was booked into the parish jail and later released on $1,000 bond.

Prohibited sexual contact between an educator and student is outlined in R.S. 14:81.4. You can read the full law HERE.

'Santa Steve' among TIME's '11 Best Santas in the U.S.'
FROM STAFF REPORTS

A Vernon Parish area man is among TIME magazine's "11 Best Santas in the U.S."

"Santa Steve" Humphries is chief of the Casualty Assistance Center at Fort Polk. He plays Santa to Fort Polk families and at area events each year.

Humphries, 58, even has a 1923 Hot Rod that blows snow. You can read TIME's online spotlight on Humphries HERE.

Texas highway dedicated in memory of fallen Fort Polk soldier
FROM STAFF REPORTS

TITUS COUNTY, TEXAS -- A stretch of Texas highway has been dedicated in memory of a fallen Fort Polk soldier.

Army Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays served with Fort Polk's 705th Ordnance Company, 184th EOD Battalion. He was killed in action in February 2011 in Afghanistan.

The dedication ceremony took place in early December in Titus County, Texas, where Mays was from.

A 3.1-mile stretch was renamed the "Chauncy Mays Memorial Highway."

Texas lawmakers unanimously approved a measure  for the highway renaming earlier this year. You can find more in an article by The Daily Tribune in Mount Pleasant, Texas HERE
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Topics : Law_Crime
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