Suspect booked in March double homicide, and other area police news

Suspect, 25, booked in March double homicide

A man suspected of fatally shooting two women and wounding a man in March has been arrested.

Cody Williams, 25, was booked on two counts of first-degree murder and a count of attempted first-degree murder in the deaths of Sandy George and Ranalda Variste and the injuring of an 18-year-old man.

The shooting happened about 3 p.m. March 13 at Foucher and South Saratoga streets.

Variste, 19, was found on the ground with a gunshot wound to her head. She died a short time later at Interim LSU Hospital.

George, 49, was found inside a home near the corner with a gunshot wound to her body. She died March 16.

U.S. marshals arrested Williams about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 1600 block of South Saratoga Street.

Man found shot to death in Mid-City

An unidentified man was found shot to death Thursday evening behind a Mid-City home, New Orleans police said.

The victim was found about 6:15 p.m. in the yard of a home in the 2700 block of Cleveland Avenue. It was not immediately clear how long he had been dead.

While police did not identify a motive, investigators found a large amount of drugs on the scene.

Homicide Detective Matthew Morrison is in charge of the investigation.

Grand jury indicts man in soldier’s murder

Darwin “Trent” Bethune, a New Orleans man arrested in the New Year’s Day shooting death of an Army sergeant visiting his children in Marrero while home on leave, was indicted Thursday on a second-degree murder charge by a Jefferson Parish grand jury.

Joseph Anderson, 31, was found dead Jan. 1 in the driveway of his ex-wife’s parents’ home on Ray Street, where he was visiting his children.

A decorated soldier and veteran of three tours of duty in the Middle East, Anderson left the house just before 10 p.m., hours before he was to return to duty in Maryland.

He was shot once in the head by an assailant who drove off in Anderson’s Toyota 4Runner, only to abandon it two miles away. Neither his wallet nor his cellphone was taken.

Bethune, 24, surrendered a month later to an Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office captain who had once been his mentor in the Young Marines program.

He has been held in Jefferson Parish Prison on $500,000 bail. That has been increased to $2 million because he is considered a flight risk, according to the indictment filed in 24th Judicial District Court.

The case has been assigned to Judge Robert Pitre Jr.’s court.

Calif. man pleads guilty in Tammany porn case

A California man linked to a massive child pornography operation started in St. Tammany Parish pleaded guilty Wednesday in New Orleans federal court.

Aung “Michael” Gaw, 26, of Fremont, faces up to 30 years behind bars for conspiring to produce child pornography. Gaw is a co-defendant of Jonathan S. Johnson, the St. Tammany Parish man who admitted creating websites that victimized hundreds of young boys and offered tutorials to thousands of members about how to dupe minors into creating sexually explicit videos. The websites involved some 2,000 pornographic videos, according to court documents. The federal investigation has implicated several defendants, many of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, Gaw was a user and a member of Johnson’s sites and also uploaded videos. Johnson, who faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, had apparently been poised to testify against Gaw.

Police seek ID of man who flashed park goers

Police are trying to identify a man who recently exposed his genitals to people walking in Audubon Park.

The man exposed himself to the walkers about 7:30 p.m. May 31. Police released a computer sketch of the unknown flasher Thursday.

He is described as a Pacific Islander in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds with a stocky or athletic build. He has straight dark brown hair and wore a sleeveless bright-orange shirt and long, baggy turquoise shorts.

Anyone with information on the man’s identity is asked to contact Sex Crimes Detective Stephanie Taillon at (504) 658-5753 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

St. John man pleads guilty in child porn case

A St. John the Baptist Parish man pleaded guilty Wednesday to allegations he posted child pornography on Facebook, the social networking website.

Kirk P. Weber, 54, of Reserve, faces up to 30 years behind bars and a fine of up to $250,000 after admitting to one count of distribution of child pornography, prosecutors said.

Federal agents received complaints in October that a man using the name Paul Webber had “uploaded images depicting the sexual victimization of children to the Internet via Facebook,” according to court documents. Facebook disabled the account and a subsequent account that Weber opened to post illicit images.

Weber admitted using Facebook to contact teenage boys. He told the authorities he “discovered he was sexually attracted to boys aged 15 to 16 after his divorce ... seven to eight years ago.” Weber has been in custody since February.

Two people wounded Wednesday night

Two people were wounded during separate shootings Wednesday night in New Orleans.

The first shooting was about 9 p.m. in the 3000 block of Republic Street on the edge of the 7th Ward. The victim was shot in the back and was in critical condition at a local hospital, police said.

A man was shot in the leg about 11:24 p.m. at Curie and New York streets in Gentilly. Police did not provide any information on his condition.

Police seek suspect in attempted murder

New Orleans police are searching for a man they believe tried to kill someone by stabbing him in the neck.

Lenson Cormier, 61, got into an argument with a man May 30 in the 4100 block of South Claiborne Avenue, police said. Cormier stabbed the man in the neck twice.

The victim was still hospitalized Thursday.

Anyone with information on Cormier’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

NOPD searches for suspect in attack

Police are searching for a man wanted in connection with an aggravated battery in New Orleans East.

John Lyerly, 52, allegedly hit a man with a wooden stick, cutting him on his arm and head, during an argument Tuesday at an abandoned hotel in the 12000 block of the north Interstate 10 Service Road.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Shonndell Fields at (504) 658-6070 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.