Three felons plead guilty to domestic abuse in district court
FRANKLIN, La. — Three convicted felons pleaded guilty to domestic abuse battery in the 16th Judicial District Court Tuesday afternoon and were given sentences ranging from 45 days to one year.
Lance Escort, 35, Morgan City, was sentenced by District Chief Judge Lori Landry to a year in prison with hard labor after pleading guilty, for the third time in seven years, to domestic abuse battery on the same woman. He was also fined $2,000. Escort was accused of hitting his ex-wife in front of her 10-year-old son during a September 2012 quarrel in Centerville.
Escort had drug felony convictions in 2004 and 2006.
Another Morgan City man changed the story he gave police at his arrest in August 2012, by pleading guilty to domestic abuse battery.
Michael Carbin, 31, was arrested by Morgan City police near his Chennault Street residence after his victim accused him of beating her and threatening to take her life. Before his arrest, Carbin denied the battery saying he threw a pillow at the victim during an argument, the police report said. Police said there was a mark on the victim’s neck consistent with strangulation.
Carbin admitted to more than a pillow-throw by pleading guilty, but a second charge of false imprisonment was not prosecuted. He had been given a 15-year drug-related sentence in 2009 with all but five years suspended and put on five years of supervised probation. Landry gave Carbin a 45-day sentence for his guilty plea.
In the third domestic abuse case, Shirrod Francis, 26, of Bayou Vista, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic abuse battery that had been reduced from second degree battery, and was given a six-month sentence.
Francis admitting hitting his ex-girlfriend, with whom he has a child, in November 2012 in Bayou Vista. The victim sustained two fractures to her jaw. He was on probation from a 2009 cocaine distribution conviction, according to public records.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s office arrest report said Escort admitted he argued with the victim over him flirting with another woman but denied he struck her and had no idea how the victim had gotten the swelling on the side of her head and ear.
The victim said after she was struck by Escort, her son ran outside to her vehicle to get a can of pepper spray, which Escort tried to take from the boy and in the process got pepper spray on all three, the report said.
The deputy said the boy “held up his arm and made a fist and said, ‘like this,’” indicating the victim had been struck with Escort’s closed fist.
Before accepting his plea, Landry chided Escort for being coy in his answers to her questions.
Escort was wearing a neck brace and shoulder sling as he sat in the “box” of chairs with others. Landry asked whether his judgment was being affected by any medications as he pleaded guilty.
“I am not going to play word games with you,” Landry said before Escort said his judgment was not impaired.
Escort’s previous penalties for guilty pleas stemming from abusing the same victim had netted him no real time served as his one-month and then six-month sentences ran concurrent with prison time he was serving on drug convictions.
According to public records, Escort pleaded guilty to domestic abuse of the same victim in 2006 and 2008. The 2006 arrest report said it was after he kicked in the door to her Morgan City house. In 2008 she accused him of refusing to let her leave her house as she attempted to escape abuse. She said she managed to slip out the door but Escort tackled her from behind and began choking her.