Woman pleads guilty in connection with St. Rose death

88-year-old woman killed in fire

September 16, 2011 at 9:24 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Janna Firmin
Courtesy photo
Janna Firmin
A Hahnville woman pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to manslaughter in connection with the death of a disabled St. Rose woman who was unable to escape a fire set at her home.

Janna Firmin, 34, was sentenced to five years with the Department of Corrections, but four of those years were suspended.

She was given credit for time served.

Firmin, who was originally charged with first degree murder before accepting a plea deal to the amended charge, was also sentenced to four years of home incarceration.

Toby Beasley, 32, of Hahnville, pled guilty last month to manslaughter in connection with the death of 88-year-old Ophelia Shepard, who was a double amputee. He was given a 40-year sentence.

Authorities say that Beasley kicked in the door of Shepard's home at 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 11 and argued with her two grandchildren, who are 16 and 20 years old. 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.

Shepard’s grandchildren were able to escape the home, but were unable to rescue their grandmother.

Authorities say that Firmin drove Beasley to and from the scene of the crime.

According to court documents, Firmin will be monitored using an electronic ankle bracelet during her four-year home incarceration. She will be able to attend church, go to a doctor and shop at a grocery store once a week. She was also ordered to obtain employment and undergo substance abuse treatment.

As part of Firmin’s sentence, she will be allowed to live in Picayune, Miss. with her grandparents and may travel to visit her mother two times a week.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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