Louisiana news briefs
Reality star accused
of rape, child molestation
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden’s popular “Sons of Guns” show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says Hayden was arrested Tuesday on a charge accusing him of raping a child. His bond was set at $250,000. He was already facing child molestation and aggravated crime against nature charges stemming from his Aug. 9 arrest.
Discovery Channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said in an emailed statement Wednesday that production of the show was halted and the series canceled due to “the serious and horrific nature of the charges” against Hayden.
The show was about Hayden, his adult daughter and their company, Red Jacket Firearms.
of having sex with 2 students
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.
The Rev. Preston Thompson said Dowden originally was placed on administrative leave following her arrest Friday.
An affidavit of probable cause says Dowden was arrested after admitting that she had sex with a 16-year-old boy and had exchanged nude photos and explicit text messages.
Deputies also issued Dowden a misdemeanor summons for inappropriate conduct with a student following an 18-year-old’s allegations that she went to his house and had sex with him.
She was booked with computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile and carnal knowledge of a juvenile and released on bond.
Former LSU football coach’s son arrested
BATON ROUGE (AP) — East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies say Michael DiNardo, the son of former LSU football coach Gerry DiNardo, faces felony drug and firearm charges.
Michael DiNardo, a 21-year-old student at LSU, was booked Wednesday with intent to distribute marijuana and possessing a firearm with drugs. He was also booked with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Deputies say a package, smelling of marijuana, at the Bennington Avenue post office sparked an investigation and led to the arrest of Michael DiNardo.
Authorities executed a search warrant at DiNardo’s address. An arrest affidavit says officers uncovered several plastic bags of marijuana, a scale and two firearms. One of the firearms was an AK-47.
Future of ‘Big Oil’ suit
at stake as panel meets
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The committee that nominates members for a south Louisiana flood control authority has two vacancies to fill and the people it nominates to fill them could provide Gov. Bobby Jindal with the votes to kill a lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
At a meeting today, the nominating committee is expected to consider applicants to fill the expired term of Paul Kemp on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Kemp supports the authority’s lawsuit aimed at making the oil industry pay for coastal restoration work in areas where companies drilled and dredged.
Kemp has applied for another term on the board. Toay’s meeting could determine whether the governor will have an alternative choice who could end the flood authority’s current 5-4 majority in favor of the suit.
Bourbon Street shooting
suspect pleads not guilty
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Bourbon Street shooting suspect pleaded not guilty Wednesday on two charges related to the June 29 gunfight in the French Quarter that fatally wounded one person and injured nine others.
Trung Le, of Belle Chasse, entered his plea to charges of manslaughter and attempted second-degree murder. The 21-year-old Le originally was arrested July 4 and booked on one count of first-degree murder and nine counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Last week, a grand jury indicted Le but only on the lesser charges. Le’s attorney has contended that his client acted in self-defense when he fired his weapon.
A wounded friend testified that Le likely saved his life after a still-unidentified man pointed a pistol at their group.
“I still feel like he’s a hero, to this day. He’s wearing that nasty orange jumpsuit he shouldn’t be wearing,” said Robert Benvenuti, referring to his friend’s Orleans Parish Prison attire. “He doesn’t deserve this.”
Benvenuti was shot four times but survived wounds to his leg, foot and buttocks.
Wednesday’s testimony from three friends marked the first public show of support for Le by anyone present at the gunfight, which provoked local outrage and drew international attention because it took place in an area frequented by tourists. New Orleans police said Le was one of two men who opened fire toward each other. The second suspected gunman has not been arrested.
DHH: Killer amoeba found
in St. John water system
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns, state health officials said Wednesday.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in the St. John Water District 1 water system, which serves 12,577 people in the towns of Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy.
Officials said there are currently no known cases of illness related to the amoeba in the parish or elsewhere in the state.
5th arrest in New Orleans drive-by shooting case
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Police in New Orleans report a fifth arrest in connection with a drive-by shooting that killed two people and seriously injured a mother and two children
Police said 34-year-old Michael Finnie was arrested Wednesday in Chalmette on two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder. Police said Finnie is believed to be the driver of the vehicle used in the Aug. 10 shooting.
Police have said 33-year-old Terrance McBride was the shooters’ target. McBride and 16-year-old Jasmine Anderson were killed. Five others were hit by gunfire including a mother and her sons, ages 2 and 4, who were seriously injured.
Others arrested include the alleged gunmen: 23-year-old Joseph Nelson III and 20-year-old Blair Taylor. Each faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
From The Associated Press.