Court dates set for pair of East Bank murder trials

One teen suspect charged with heroin possession while awaiting trial

Michelle Stuckey
July 21, 2011 at 10:45 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A pair of East Bank murder trials are scheduled for August, and four St. Charles residents will be judged by juries of their peers.

Daniel Deese, 16, and his sister Pauline Deese, 17, will be tried on Aug. 28 in the death of a Norco woman last November, while Toby Beasley and Janna Firmin will be tried on Aug. 22 for the burning death of a St. Rose woman in February.

Daniel Deese is charged with the first degree murder of 77-year-old Mary Nancy Arico, who was stabbed and beaten to death in her home. Pauline is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
According to documents filed from a July 15 hearing, an alibi may be filed for Daniel.

In another turn in the case, Pauline was arrested after she was taken to the hospital last month when she and her boyfriend took what they described as heroin, according to police reports.

On June 16 near midnight, Michael Naquin called for an ambulance when he found Pauline’s boyfriend unresponsive on their kitchen floor. Once authorities arrived and questioned the couple, Pauline and her boyfriend admitted to ingesting a substance they said was heroin, according to police.

“(An) officer spoke with Pauline Deese who initially stated she and (her boyfriend) had taken five Xanax from the prescription given her by her doctor,” a police report stated. After officers were unable to locate a Xanax bottle, they questioned the two again.

“(Her boyfriend) admitted he and Deese did a line of what he described as heroin. When confronted with (the boyfriend’s) admission, Deese later admitted (to taking heroin),” according to the report.

Officers could not locate any illegal narcotics on the scene, but both Pauline and her boyfriend were taken to St. Charles Parish Hospital for minor injuries and incoherence.
Pauline was arrested on July 15 and charged with distribution of Xanax and possession of heroin in connection with this incident.

Due to this development, Pauline underwent a random drug screening by a probation officer before her July 15 court hearing.

Beasley, 31, and Firmin, 34, are charged in the death of 88-year-old Ophelia Shepard.

Authorities say that Beasley kicked in the door of a home on Mockingbird Lane on the morning of Feb. 11 and argued with a 16-year-old and 20-year-old who both lived at the residence. The argument escalated and Beasley poured an accelerant on the floor of the living room and then lit it, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

While the two young residents were able to escape, their grandmother, identified as Shepard, was trapped in the house and killed. Shepard could not easily escape because she had both of her legs amputated due to severe diabetes.

The two have been charged with first degree murder and aggravated arson. Additionally, Beasley faces two counts of attempted homicide and simple arson while Firmin has been charged with two counts of principal to attempted homicide.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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Man convicted of child porn hangs himself in jail cell
Man convicted of child porn hangs himself in jail cell
A man convicted of producing child pornography and coercing minors for sex hung himself with the cord from a laundry bag in Nelson Coleman Correctional Center.

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