St. Charles Herald-Guide

Charges reduced against suspect in Norco murder

By Jonathan Menard - July 4, 2014

Charges have been reduced against an 18-year-old Metairie man who was arrested in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Norco resident Jay Bertucci.

Bertucci was killed on Dec. 12, 2012 after three men tried to break into his apartment.

One of the men, who was wearing a mask, threatened Bertucci with a gun and the two struggled before Bertucci was shot in the chest. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said the three men were trying to rob Bertucci of a large cache of marijuana he had just received.

In April, 16 months after the murder occurred, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Connor Dennies and charged him with first-degree murder. However, charges against Dennies have now been reduced to manslaughter.According to court documents, most of the evidence against Dennies appears to be circumstantial. He was first identified as a suspect after a prisoner at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center told detectives that he overhead Dennies talking about Bertucci’s murder. Dennies, who was in jail for an unrelated offense, allegedly said that he was the getaway driver.

Later, a teenager in Norco told police that Dennies had admitted to killing Bertucci and asked her to hide a gun for him. She refused to do so and instead informed the Sheriff’s Office about what had transpired.

Detectives also tracked down another one of Dennies’ friends who told them that the Metairie teen said he and his three friends from New Orleans had murdered Bertucci. Other acquaintances of Dennies told detectives that Dennies said he knew who had killed Bertucci, but that he failed to elaborate further on the matter.

Anyone with additional information on Bertucci’s murder is asked to contact Det. Joe Dewhirst at (985) 783-1135 or (985) 783-6807.

Connor Dennies
Connor Dennies