Sentence could double to 80 years under repeat offender bill
Maurice Honor, the Paradis man arrested and charged with robbing a St. James convenience store with a BB gun and coming away with $89 dollars in 2016, was sentenced to serve 40 years in state prison and could potentially face up to 80 years imprisonment.
Maurice Honor, of 1447 Old Spanish Trail, will serve the 40-year sentence without benefit of probation, suspension or parole. It’s the maximum sentence carried by the charge. However, St. James Parish prosecutors filed a multiple offender bill on Honor, and that could potentially double his sentence. The habitual offender’s law allows prosecutors to obtain significantly longer prison sentences for people with prior felony convictions. Honor has multiple prior felony convictions, according to the St. James District Attorney’s office.
The 40-year verdict was handed down last week by 23rd District Court Judge Jessie LeBlanc. Honor was found guilty unanimously by a St. James jury following the conclusion of his trial in May.
St. James Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin said Honor has been arrested 15 times since 2003 and that this conviction is his fifth.
“He’s a career criminal, and we’re trying to get him off the streets,” Babin said.
Babin said his office rarely seeks to apply the habitual offender law, noting it typically comes into play five or less times a year out of thousands of felony arrests. But he said Honor’s case is one of the rare ones where he believes it’s a necessity.
“You’ve had 15 chances, and we’ve all had enough,” Babin said. “I don’t like to give that many years to anybody, but it’s a matter of public safety.”
According to the St. James Parish District Attorney’s Office, on Jan. 17 of 2016 Honor entered the Big River Store in Gramercy wearing a hoodie and mask, grabbed a store manager and held her at gunpoint, leading her to the cash register and demanding money. He then left the store on foot with approximately $89 in cash.
The store employee called 911 and told St. James detectives that another female subject had entered the store to use the restroom and that man who robbed the store immediately entered as she left. Not far away from the store, detectives soon found the female, 41-year-old Renee Shrake of Ama and learned she drove Honor to the scene, scouted the store prior to his entry and was supposed to drive him away — she did not, instead leaving the scene after noticing a nearby Sheriff’s deputy.
Detectives were able to find the mask and gun under the corner of a nearby home and identified the weapon as a BB gun. According to the district attorney’s office, Honor’s DNA was found on both the mask and gun.
Shrake, who testified against Honor during the trial, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree robbery and received a four year suspended sentence with credit for time served. She will serve three years supervised probation.