Thursday, December 14, 2017

Loseranna vigilante found guilty of only 2nd degree murder for killing registrant (only the male; of course, the female will get far less time)

The murderer said he wasn't sorry for committing premeditated murder. Throw the book at these two!

Jury finds Jace Crehan guilty of 2nd degree murder in 2015 killing of his girlfriend's convicted molester

Jace Crehan, who confessed to fatally stabbing and strangling his girlfriend's convicted molester inside the man's Zachary trailer and stuffing his body into a 55-gallon container, was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday in the brutal July 4, 2015, slaying.

Crehan, 23, of Walker, faces a mandatory term of life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 18 by state District Judge Tony Marabella. He will remain in custody until then.

His girlfriend, Brittany Monk, 20, also of Walker, pleaded guilty earlier this year to manslaughter, testified for the prosecution at Crehan's trial and will be sentenced the same day by the judge. She faces a sentence of up to 40 years. Crehan did not testify in his own defense.

Monk, who was nearly seven months pregnant with Crehan's child at the time of the crime, admitted participating in the killing of Robert Noce Jr., 47, a former boyfriend of her mother.

It took an East Baton Rouge Parish jury of seven women and five men only about an hour to convict Crehan, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read. The vote was 11-1. Crehan's grandparents cried when the verdict was announced in court.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III, whose office previously rejected Crehan's offer to plead guilty to manslaughter, said justice was served by a criminal justice system that worked.

"You don't want people going out and taking justice into their own hands," he said.

Crehan's defense team had fought for anything from an outright acquittal to manslaughter.

In their closing arguments Thursday to the jury, prosecutors Eli Abad and Darwin Miller said the choices Crehan made are why he was prosecuted for second-degree murder.

Miller told the panel that Crehan exacted "vigilante" justice when he broke into Noce's trailer in the pre-dawn hours and attacked a sleeping Noce.

In his own closing argument, Franz Borghardt, one of Crehan's attorneys, called the slaying a "revenge" killing committed in the heat of passion.

Noce, just 13 days before he was killed, pleaded "no contest" in state court in Baton Rouge to sexually molesting Monk as a child and was put on probation for five years. He raised her for about a decade. A no contest plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea in criminal court but cannot be used against a defendant in civil court.

In post-arrest communications with The Advocate, Crehan portrayed himself as Monk's "guardian, her protector, her hope."

Crehan, in recorded conversations with authorities that the jury heard, said what he did wasn't wrong. "I feel a lot better. It's not regret. Is it remorse? I'm not sorry for what I did."

Abad, as he did in his opening statement to the jury Monday, reiterated to jurors Thursday that the case was about choices and consequences.

"They had a specific purpose. They had no legal reason to be at this trailer," he said of Crehan and Monk. "They were there to find Robby Noce. They were there to inflict pain of the worst kind."

Abad argued that Noce was asleep in his bed and had provoked no one.

Crehan's attorneys said Monday at the start of the trial that the case resembled a Shakespearean tragedy. They portrayed Crehan and Monk as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

Miller scoffed at that suggestion Thursday while addressing the jury.

"We do not live in a country where we as a society are allowed to take the law into our own hands to do justice," he said. "That's what happened here. This is not a Shakespearean tragedy. This is not a Hollywood movie. This is the killing of a human being, whether you like him or not."

Monk testified Tuesday she thought Noce, who she called "daddy" while living with him, would serve 10 years behind bars.

"Revenge is an act of passion, and this is very much an act of passion," Borghardt told the jury. "We don't believe this is second-degree murder. We believe it's something else."

Borghardt argued that Noce turned Monk into a "sex slave” as a child, even paying her for sex.

Crehan, he said, considered Noce a "potential threat" to his then-pregnant girlfriend.

"It would have been easier (for Crehan) to cut bait and leave, but he loved her," Borghardt said.

He acknowledged to the jury that Crehan and Monk, who were engaged at the time, "concocted a very, very bad plan." But he said they never intended to kill Noce, only to rough him up and send a message that they were not to be bothered.

"There was a loss of control," Borghardt said. "When they confronted `daddy' it was just too much."

Monk testified that Crehan did a Google search to confirm Noce was still living at the same South Vernon Road address that she remembered. The couple then drove to a Walmart and bought blue latex gloves and batteries for walkie-talkies before going to Noce's trailer, she said. They wore black clothes, and Monk put her long hair up in a bun to avoid leaving any at the scene.

Monk, however, discarded the gloves she wore in the barrel where Noce's body was found inside the trailer, and her DNA was found on the gloves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is an Update on the Monk issue

A Baton Rouge judge on Monday refused to reconsider the 35-year prison term he gave Brittany Monk for her role in the savage 2015 beating, strangling and stabbing death of her convicted molester in his Zachary trailer.

The 20-year-old Walker woman's attorneys had filed a motion earlier this month, arguing that her manslaughter sentence, which was five years shy of the maximum possible penalty for that crime, was excessive.

But state District Judge Tony Marabella denied the motion Thursday without issuing written reasons. Monk's attorneys did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

Monk was 17 and seven months pregnant when she and her then-fiance, Jace Crehan, broke into Robert Noce Jr.'s mobile home and killed him, less than two weeks after the 47-year-old Noce pleaded "no contest" to sexually abusing Monk as a child. Noce was a former boyfriend of Monk's mother.

Monk's attorneys, Lindsay Blouin and Joshua Newville, argued in their motion for sentence reconsideration that Monk was an immature teen who made a "terrible, catastrophic mistake in judgment."

"Sentencing her to 35 years as if she were an adult in full control of reason, risk-management, and impulse is wrong," they wrote in the motion. "It goes against the United States Supreme Court's recognition that children are different and should be treated so in the eyes of the law."

Blouin and Newville asked the judge to either resentence Monk to a penalty "proportionate with her young age" or defer ruling on their motion "until such time that (he) feels she has demonstrated positive custodial adjustment." The lawyers said Monk has demonstrated positive maturation over the last two years while imprisoned.

Monk pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge in June, testified in December at Crehan's second-degree murder trial and was sentenced last month to 35 years behind bars. She admitted punching Noce 10 to 15 times while Crehan held him down, and also said she retrieved the knife from Noce's kitchen that Crehan used to stab him numerous times.

Crehan, 24, also of Walker, was convicted as charged and sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison.

Monk's body was found stuffed inside a 55-gallon plastic container in his kitchen July 4, 2015.

In sentencing Crehan and Monk on Jan. 19, Marabella called the slaying a "diabolical" act and "vigilante" justice.

The judge pointed out that Monk had no reason to fear Noce because he had absolutely no contact with her for the three years leading up to his June 2015 no contest plea. He was put on probation.

"Ms. Monk may not have seen her abuser for 3 years, but she still lived each and every day with the effects of the sexual trauma inflicted on her for the better part of a decade," Monk's attorneys argued in their motion.

In addition to Monk's youth and immaturity at the time of the crime, Blouin and Newville also pointed the finger at Crehan and his "negative influences."

In addition to living with Crehan — the father of her child — at the time of the killing, Monk's lawyers said he had "unwittingly exposed her and her baby to a sexually transmitted disease due to his infidelity."

"Her only alternative would have been to return to the equally unstable, substance abusing mother who had originally left her as a 4-year-old child with her abuser, Robert Noce," her lawyers said.

Blouin and Newville argued further that Monk's immaturity and devotion to Crehan "meant that she did not question the viability of his immature, catastrophic plan to scare Robert Noce into staying away from them that went terribly wrong."