Norco murder case put on hold pending sanity hearing of two teens
Daniel Deese and Braiden Sumrall, both 16, were indicted as adults and charged with first degree murder in the killing of Mary Nancy Arico, 78, in Norco last November.
Last week, Judge Robert Chaisson ruled to quash the indictment until the sanity hearing results were released. An application for a sanity hearing was originally filed last December.
Deese and Sumrall will be held at St. Bernard Juvenile Detention Facility until their competency to proceed is determined by the juvenile court.
Arico, who lived at 115 Mary St., was stabbed and beaten to death in her home on Nov. 8. On Nov. 26 her body was found on the kitchen floor by parish deputies.
Four Norco teenagers were charged in connection with the murder: Deese, Sumrall, Pauline Deese and a 14-year old.
In January, Pauline Deese, 17, sister of Daniel Deese, was released from the custody of the St. Charles Parish Jail on a $300,000 bond. She was indicted for accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and obstruction of justice because police say she knew about the murder and lied to detectives when questioned about the incident.
Also in the case, a 14-year-old girl has been charged with principal to first degree murder and will be tried as a juvenile.
Authorities say the two boys got into Arico’s home by saying they had to use the phone. The 14-year-old girl told authorities she waited outside.
In his press conference, Champagne said that one of the 16 year olds distracted Arico, while the other began robbing her.
Published reports said that it was Daniel Deese who picked up several kitchen knives after entering Arico’s home and attacked the woman.
The reports say that the girl told investigators that she heard screaming inside the house and that Sumrall ran outside once Deese started stabbing Arico. Deese eventually came outside covered in blood, and said that he had to hit Arico in the head with a microwave because she didn’t die after the stab wounds, reports say.
Arico’s death went undiscovered for so long because she rarely socialized with neighbors. Perry Waguespack, a relative of Arico, said that Arico was sociable until 2005, but then something changed.
“Mary lived in that house on Mary Street by herself and many times my mother would ask her if she was afraid to live by herself to which Mary replied ‘No, I love being by myself,’” Waguespack said.
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